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Knicks file protest with NBA over loss to Rockets

The New York Knicks are reportedly filing a protest with the NBA over Monday’s controversial last-second loss in Houston. However, history suggests that protest is very unlikely to be upheld.

From ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

The Knicks decided to file on Tuesday evening, highlighting the NBA’s last two minute report and game crew chief Ed Malloy’s acknowledgements that the foul call on Knicks guard Jalen Brunson against Houston’s Aaron Holiday inside the final second was incorrectly called, sources said.

Holiday made two free throws with less than a second left on the clock, and intentionally missed a third to run out the clock in the 105-103 victory. The Knicks and Rockets aren’t scheduled to play again this season, but the hope of the protest is to either pick up a tied game at the start of overtime, or somehow remedy the Knicks without a loss.

Nevertheless, a protest must prove the “misapplication” of a rule, not simply a missed call.

The Knicks have five days to provide evidence, and the commissioner’s office can take up to five more days to make a ruling.

According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, only one NBA protest has been upheld in more than 40 years, and it came under wildly different circumstances. Feigen explains:

Only six of 44 protests have been upheld in league history, with misapplication of rules usually the determining factor, rather than a missed judgment call. Only one team has won a protest since the 1982-83 season, with the Heat successfully arguing that Shaquille O’Neal was ruled to have fouled out of a Dec. 19, 2007, game when the stat crew in Atlanta incorrectly counted the number of fouls he had committed.

In the Knicks-Rockets case, another complicating factor is New York could have simply challenged the Brunson call and taken it to an immediate replay review had they a challenge available. However, head coach Tom Thibodeau unsuccessfully used his challenge earlier in the game. As Bobby Marks, ESPN’s NBA insider, notes, that remedy could make a successful protest even less likely.

Monday’s loss dropped New York to 33-21, while Holiday and the Rockets improved to 24-29 with the victory.

Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire