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NBA official: Foul that ended Rockets-Knicks game shouldn’t have been called

In a postgame “pool report” interview with Fred Katz of The Athletic, Monday’s officiating crew chief said the late call that decided the Rockets-Knicks game in favor of Houston was a mistake.

“After seeing it during postgame review, the offensive player was able to return to a normal playing position on the floor,” NBA official (and crew chief) Ed Malloy said late Monday. “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.”

With the game tied at 103 in the closing seconds, official Jacyn Goble whistled New York’s Jalen Brunson for making contact with Houston’s Aaron Holiday on a shot attempt with 0.3 seconds left.

Holiday then made two free throws to win the game for Houston (24-29), sending the Knicks (33-21) to a third straight loss.

“In live action, it was felt that the lower body contact was illegal contact,” Malloy said in his postgame remarks.

Malloy, however, now says the call was in error.

Whatever the case, there is no recourse available for New York to challenge the result. The Knicks did not have a replay challenge left, since they already used one unsuccessfully on an earlier play.

Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire