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#pounditThursday, February 22, 2024

Fans destroy refs for egregious call in final second of Knicks-Rockets game

Jalen Brunson contests Aaron Holiday at the end of a Knicks-Rockets game

It hasn’t been a great year for NBA referees this season. Add the ending of the New York Knicks-Houston Rockets matchup on Monday to the growing list of games that have left fans, players, and coaches alike frustrated.

Knicks star Jalen Brunson had just knotted the game up at 103 with 8.1 seconds left at Madison Square Garden in New York City, N.Y. With a second left on the clock, Brunson contested a potential game-winning shot from Rockets guard Aaron Holiday from the left wing.

Brunson appeared to fly by Holiday without making any significant contact. Holiday’s shot missed but referee Jacyn Goble called a shooting foul on Brunson. The Knicks had already used their coach’s challenge and couldn’t contest the play.

Holiday made two of the three free throws to seal a 105-103 Rockets win.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau was furious after the game was officially ruled over. He had been drawing up a play with the hope of getting a few tenths of a second back on the clock after Holiday’s last free throw.

Knicks fans and even neutral observers later crushed the refs via social media over the bad call.

Even “Zoolander” star and known Knicks fan Ben Stiller was irate. He called for the referees to address the situation.

The pool report later confirmed that the call was indeed wrong and that no foul had been committed on the play.

The Knicks were called for seven more fouls (23-16) than the Rockets all game. The home team also shot just 12 free throws all game, much fewer than Houston’s 33 attempts from the stripe.

Thibodeau was surprisingly calm when asked about the officiating during his postgame press conference.
“It was great. Great,” said Thibodeau sarcastically.

Any Knicks fans hoping for a Darko Rajaković-esque rant from Thibodeau as a consolation prize were sorely disappointed.

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