An entertaining, down-to-the-wire contest Monday between New York rivals partially turned on a controversial call in the closing seconds and had one fuming All-Star being restrained by his teammates.
The Brooklyn Nets held on for a 117-112 win after New York Knicks forward Julius Randle was called for a travel with 3.2 seconds left. Trailing 115-112, Randle tried to attempt a 3-pointer with five seconds left. As he rose up, Nets defender Kyrie Irving got his hand on the ball, which caused Randle to juggle it without shooting. When Randle tried to dribble again on his way down, referee Scott Foster called a travel.
Randle pleaded his case with Foster in the immediate aftermath of the call, then had to be restrained from confronting Foster after the final buzzer.
Julius Randle not happy after getting called for the dubious travel at the end 😬
Foster told the pool reporter that officials determined Irving did not dislodge the ball from Randle's hands, and Randle dropped it himself, making it a travel when he picked it up.
"The defender was deemed to touch the ball but not cause it to be dislodged or loose," Foster said. "Upon that, when the player alights, he cannot purposely drop the ball or dribble the ball or be first to touch after he dropped the ball."
Randle did not comment on anything he said to Foster and chalked up the outburst to frustration.
"It was just frustrating," Randle said. "Obviously, we fought so hard to come back and try to win the game. So I was just frustrated. And that was pretty much it. But we have another opportunity to go at it tomorrow. So just focus on that."
The call detracted from the Knicks' rally to get back in the game. New York trailed by 18 late in the third quarter before mounting a comeback. Randle finished with a team-high 33 points.
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