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Knicks reportedly to protest last-second loss to Rockets

NBA: New York Knicks at Houston Rockets
NBA: New York Knicks at Houston Rockets

The New York Knicks lost Monday night's game when, with the score tied and 0.3 seconds left, the referees whistled Jalen Brunson for fouling Aaron Holiday on his one-armed heave from 3. The Knicks didn't have a challenge, the call stood and the Rockets won, then after the game crew chief Ed Malloy admitted it was a bad call.

In the wake of that, the Knicks are protesting the game, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The Knicks have 48 hours from the end of the game to file the protest, then the league can take up to 10 days to decide.

This is a long shot by New York. The last time the NBA granted a protest was back in 2008, when officials said the Heat's Shaquille O'Neal fouled out of a game when, in reality, he only had five fouls. The end of that game was replayed (although without Shaq, he was traded in the interim).

Knicks fans can try to argue that this is similar — the game was decided on a call the NBA admitted was wrong in its Last Two Minute Report — but the league will have two reasons, one public and one private, not to grant this. The public reason is that appeals are only granted for the referees misapplying a rule (like kicking Shaq out of the game). While this is a mistake and bad call, it's human error not the misapplication of a rule.

Privately, this would set a precedent the league does not like. Every season a handful of games are decided on blown late calls, and replaying all of them would become a logistical nightmare. For example, in this case, the Knicks and Raptors do not meet again this season, requiring extra travel.

The Knicks will lose the appeal, but nobody can blame them for trying. A bad call cost them the game.