It hasn’t been a great year for NBA referees this season. Add the end of Monday’s New York Knicks-Houston Rockets game to the growing list of games that have left fans, players and coaches frustrated.
Knicks star Jalen Brunson had just closed the game at 103 with 8.1 seconds left at Madison Square Garden in New York City, N.Y. With one second left on the clock, Brunson contested a potential game-winning shot by Rockets guard Aaron Holiday from left wing.
Brunson appeared to fly close to Holiday without making any significant contact. Holiday’s shot missed but referee Jacyn Goble called a shooting foul on Brunson. The Knicks had already exploited their coach’s challenge and could not contest the play.
Holiday made two of three free throws to seal the Rockets’ 105-103 victory.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau was furious after the game was officially declared final. He was preparing an action with the hope of recovering a few tenths of a second after Holiday’s last free throw.
Knicks fans and even neutral observers later slammed the refs via social media for the bad call.