The New York Knicks filed an official protest to overturn a foul call which decided the result of their 105-103 loss to the Houston Rockets on February 12. In the five days after the game, the NBA did not overturn the decision.

If their protest was successful, the teams would have met to play one overtime period to complete the game. There have only been six successful protests in NBA history, and the last one was in 2007.

The controversy came into play with 8.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter, where the Rockets were inbounding the ball after a timeout. With the game clock about to expire, Rockets guard Aaron Holiday heaved up a long three-pointer which was heavily contested by Knicks star Jalen Brunson who was playing tight defense to try to prevent giving up any points that would cost them the game.

Brunson couldn’t believe it when the official called a foul after the game clock expired and Holiday’s effort missed.

In a tied game, Holiday would go on to knock down two of the three free throws and seal a narrow two-point win for the Rockets.

The Knicks are a much better team than the Rockets, but they were underdogs in this game being away and missing several key players including Julius RandleMitchell RobinsonOG Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein. The Rockets are also 20-9 at home this season.

Even the acknowledgment of a mistake from official Ed Malloy, wasn’t enough for the NBA to change anything.

“After seeing it during postgame review, the offensive player was able to return to a normal playing position on the floor,” Malloy said. “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.”

Nobody enjoys seeing a game be decided by an ultimately incorrect call from the officials. It’s even more upsetting when the official admits his mistake, and the league still fails to do anything about it. Nonetheless, Brunson took a chance on closing out Holliday’s shot so aggressively, and he gave the officials the chance to make the rare call.

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