Julius Randle tosses chair, needs to be held back by teammates after controversial call costs Knicks vs. Nets

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Julius Randle very nearly led the New York Knicks back from an 18-point deficit against their crosstown rivals, the Brooklyn Nets, but despite his 33-point effort, his team fell short due to a controversial call. With 3.2 seconds left in the game, Randle went up to attempt a game-tying 3-pointer, but because Kyrie Irving made contact with the ball, he did not release it. He was called for traveling, the Nets gained possession, and the game functionally ended there. 

Randle was not happy about this. Even after the game ended, he gave a slight shove to Nets forward Jeff Green with his shoulder. Teammate Obi Toppin needed to hold him back from going after official Scott Foster, and he proceeded to toss a chair on his way down the tunnel after exiting the floor. 

The NBA will release the Last Two Minute Report from this game on Tuesday, and in the process, will confirm whether or not the correct call was made. At first glance, it’s not fully clear. Irving clearly made contact with the ball, but Randle’s feet may have been on the ground when he did so. If the ball was touched while Randle was in the air, it should have been called a jump ball. After the game, Foster clarified to a pool reporter that while Irving touched the ball, he did not dislodge it and that since Randle came down with it and released it, he could not be the first person to touch it. 

The game itself was one filled with whistles and reviews. A total of 49 free throws were attempted between the two teams, and mere seconds before this moment on the game clock, a foul called against the Knicks on Joe Harris was reviewed and turned into a jump ball that helped put the Knicks in position to try to tie the game in the first place. 

Randle himself refused to comment on the call or the outburst that followed, telling reporters “I just think it’s best I move past it and not comment on what I think.” With the outcome already determined, Randle has little to gain by elaborating. It was a frustrating end to an exciting game.