NBA Referees Admit Missed Call in 4th Quarter of Celtics-Knicks


On Thursday, the official NBA referees’ X account posted a message on the social media site, confessing a missed defensive foul call on Jayson Tatum while the four-time All-Star was guarding Jalen Brunson during the fourth quarter of the Boston Celtics’ 108-104 win over the New York Knicks.

With under six minutes to go in regulation, Brunson was handed a flopping technical on a Tatum contested 3-pointer. The Celtics star hit a free throw to cut the deficit to 88-87 with 6:40 left to go. The technical was issued after a New York shooting foul. Tatum hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 88 apiece.

However, replay review showed Tatum with his foot under Brunson when he landed, which should have been a shooting foul and three free throws for the Knicks guard.

According to multiple NBA betting sites, the New York Knicks hold 14th-ranked odds to win this season’s 2024 championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat.

“We missed the foot-to-foot contact which should have resulted in a personal foul and reviewed for flagrant,” the official NBA referees X account posted Thursday.

“Had no foot-to-foot contact existed, this type of secondary and theatrical movement by Brunson would meet the criteria for a non-unsportsmanlike technical foul for flopping.

“It is possible to have a foul and a flop on the same play, but the foot-to-foot contact is what causes Brunson’s movement, and no flop should have been called.”

NBA referees missed defensive foul call on Jayson Tatum while guarding Jalen Brunson during the Celtics-Knicks Game

Although a Flagrant 2 would probably not have been called on Tatum, the refs still missed a crucial call. Even if it was a Flagrant 1, this should have sent a Knicks player to the free throw line.

New York went 14-of-26 (53.8%) at the foul line and outscored the Celtics 31-26 in the final frame. Brunson missed his one and only free throw attempt of the night in 33 minutes of action.

Make no mistake, this one call did not lose the Knicks this game. Boston outscored New York 30-18 in the opening quarter. Plus, the Knicks missed 11 of their first 13 shots, making just two dunks.

Additionally, Brunson was held to 15 points on just 6-of-21 (28.6%) shooting. Likewise, Julius Randle finished 5-for-22 (22.7%) shooting from the field, amassing 14 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists.

“I thought the start of the game hurt us and then I thought the second, third and fourth we played better,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.

“It’s still choppy, we’re working through things, but we have to be ready and alert.”

On Friday, the Boston Celtics host the Miami Heat at 7:30 p.m. ET. The New York Knicks take on the Atlanta Hawks inside State Farm Arena at the same time.

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