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Knicks filing protest with NBA to dispute Monday's loss to Rockets

After a bogus last-second foul call that led to the Knicks’ loss on Monday night against the Houston Rockets, the team isn’t taking it lightly, as SNY's Ian Begley has confirmed they're filing a protest with the NBA to dispute the result.

Whether the protest will actually change anything remains to be seen, but New York’s grievance is just as both the NBA’s Last Two Minute (L2M) Report and crew chief Ed Malloy have acknowledged that the foul call on Jalen Brunson leading to Aaron Holiday’s two winning free throws was incorrectly called.

Brunson, after tying the game at 103-103 just seconds before with a step-back jumper over Dillon Brooks, closed out on Holiday’s wild last-second heave, jumping to disrupt the shot attempt but never actually fouling him.

After the game, Malloy provided an explanation on the foul call which was reviewed by the referee crew following the whistle.

“In live action it was felt that the lower body contact was illegal contact,” he said.

Malloy continued: “After seeing it during postgame review, the offensive player was able to return to a normal playing position on the floor. The contact, which occurred after the release of the ball therefore is incidental and marginal to the shot attempt and should not have been called.”

Holiday made two of three free throws after the blown call and the Rockets won, 105-103.

After the game, Brunson, who finished with 27 points, said “it was a great call”, seemingly not wanting to get fined.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau, who was irate after the call and even more so when the Knicks weren’t even allowed to inbound the ball after the free throw attempts, wasn’t pleased with the officiating throughout the entire game.

Houston went to the line 33 times compared to New York’s 12.

If the Knicks win the protest, they would play an overtime session with the Rockets at some point before the end of the season, per Begley.