The Knicks guard had the same four-word answer when asked about the phantom foul that cost them the game.
With the game tied and time running out, Aaron Holiday heaved up a desperation 3-pointer that saw him draw a phantom foul from the Knicks’ Brunson:
After Holiday sunk two free throws, the Rockets walked away with the win over the Knicks.
After the game, Brunson was asked about the call. But he wasn’t keen on addressing it, per Fred Katz of The Athletic:
“Jalen Brunson fielded three questions about the foul to end the game. Each time, he had the same four-word response: ‘Great call. Next question.’”
That’s probably a smart response by Brunson if he doesn’t want to get fined for criticizing the officiating. But no one would blame him if he did, including Ed Malloy, the crew chief for the referees that worked the Knicks vs. Rockets game.
Malloy, speaking to Katz in the postgame pool report, acknowledged it was a bad call:
Ed Malloy: “After seeing it during postgame review, the offensive player was able to return to a normal playing position on the floor. The contact which occurred after the release of the ball therefore is incidental & marginal to the shot attempt & should not have been called.”
The Rockets led by 14 at halftime before the Knicks opened the second half with a 16-4 run that got them within 61-59 with about 7 ½ minutes left in the third. Brunson scored the first four points in that stretch and Hart had two 3-pointers to help New York trim the deficit.
It’s just too bad that it was all for nothing.