The referees quickly admitted that they screwed the Knicks with an incorrect call Monday night.
Jalen Brunson was called for a foul by referee Jacyn Goble after contesting a 3-pointer by Aaron Holiday during the last second of the Knicks’ 105-103 loss to the Rockets in Houston.
Tied at the time, it gave Holiday three free throws, and he nailed two of them to seal Houston’s win.
Crew chief Ed Malloy expressed after the game that the foul call was a mistake.
“After seeing it during postgame review, the offensive player was able to return to a normal playing position on the floor,” Malloy said to the pool reporter. “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 had heaved a wild, one-handed desperation plea, and Brunson was storming out to contest him, making slight contact as he jumped by.
“In live action it was felt that the lower body contact was illegal contact,” Malloy said as to why it was called a foul.
Knicks wing Josh Hart shared his sentiment soon after Malloy’s admission surfaced.
“No way bro,” Hart posted on X, accompanied by five laughing-face emojis.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau somewhat held his tongue about the foul, but called for more consistency.
“The thing with the officials — this is how I feel that in general — is that I don’t really care how tight the game is called,” Thibodeau said after the loss. “You can call it tight or you can call it loose, I just would like consistency to be the same. They have a job. They have to control and manage the game. That’s their No. 1 responsibility, so they have to use their judgment and I have respect for that.
“… You look at it. If you look at the film, you see it. It is what it is.”