The Houston Roundball Review is an online basketball publication
by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

Contact Kris Gardner for details pertaining to advertising on the website; the blogs; and / or the podcasts.

Aaron Holiday made 2 free throws in final 0.3 seconds to help Rockets beat Knicks 105-103

POSTED: February 12, 2024 -- 11:25 p.m. CT

HOUSTON, TX (Toyota Center) -- The Houston Rockets edged the New York Knicks 105-103 Monday night. Aaron Holiday made 2 free throws with 0.3 seconds remaining for the win and end the Rockets' 4-game losing streak.

In the final seconds of the 4th quarter and the scored tied at 103, Knicks' forward Precious Achiuwa swatted Jalen Green's driving layup. The loose ball bounced to Aaron Holiday. Holiday heaved up a 3-point attempt. Jalen Brunson challenged the shot and made contact.

Refs called a foul on Brunson with 0.3 seconds to go.

Holiday made the first 2 free throws and missed the 3rd on purpose.

After the game, Holiday said, "Jalen just ran into my chest and they called a foul."

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."

After the game, Ed Malloy, the lead referee for the game, told members of the Knicks' media, "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 and marginal to the shot attempt and should not have been called."

With the win tonight, the Rockets split the season series against the Knicks while also snapping an 8-game losing streak to New York.

Holiday scored 18 points off the bench on 7 for 14 field goal shooting. He has scored 10+ points in a season-high tying three straight games and is averaging 16.0 ppg on 51.4% shooting over that span.

Houston led New York 74-71 at the end of the third quarter. Holiday scored 9 points (4 for 4 fgs) -- in the first 2:44 of the fourth -- during an 11-5 Rockets' run.

The Rockets led by as much as 11 points in the 4th quarter; however, the Knicks went on a 9-0 run thanks to buckets by Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic. Both players were acquired last week in a trade with the Detroit Pistons.

Rockets' rookie Amen Thompson rebounded his own missed layup and scored a putback for a 95-91 lead with 4:16 on the clock. Brunson hit a fadeaway jumper to trim Houston's lead to 95-93.

Dillon Brooks answered with his third 3-point basket of the 4th quarter for a 98-93 Rockets' lead; but, 20 seconds later, Josh Hart answered with a 3-point basket.

Brooks drained his 4th 3-point shot of the 4th for a 101-96 Houston lead with 2:09 remaining in the game; however, Burks hit a tough corner 3 in front of the Rockets' bench.

The Rockets went to Alperen Sengun in the low post the next 2 possessions. Sengun was called for an offensive foul on the first trip; but, he scored in the paint on the second trip for a 103-99 lead with 48.3 seconds remaining.

Brunson hit a tough driving layup to cut Houston's lead to 103-101. On Houston's next trip down the floor, Sengun got the call again; and, this time, his driving layup got wedged between the rim and the backboard which resulted in a jump ball at center court.

The Knicks won the toss; and, Brunson hit a tough, tough step back jumper to tie the game at 103 with 8.3 seconds on the clock.

After a timeout by Rockets' Head Coach Ime Udoka, New York switched defenders and Achiuwa went from guarding Sengun to guarding Jalen Green. Green attempted to beat Achiuwa baseline; but, Achiuwa swatted Green's shot attempt and the ball bounced out to Holiday for the final results.

"They (the Knicks) did a good job taking away Alpi's (Alperen Sengun) catch there," Coach Udoka said describing the final play. "Jalen made a play. They switched it and denied Alpi; so, Jalen made a play there. Fortunate block that went right to our guy (Holiday) and a tough fall on them."

Houston trailed New York 16-8 in the first quarter; however, the Rockets outscored the Knicks 21-6 to win the quarter 29-22. Houston led New York 57-43 at halftime.

Brunson brushed off a 2 for 11 first half with 12 points (4 for 9 fgs) in the third quarter. Houston was outscored 28-17 in the third period.

"It was good to battle back in the fourth quarter after a tough third," Coach Udoka commented.

Dillon Brooks scored a team-high 23 points. He made 6 of his 7 three-point field goal attempts in the game.

"I'm just trying to be aggressive with Fred (VanVleet) being out," Brooks said. "Look for my shot a little more."


Brooks has scored 20+ points in three of the past four games after doing so once over his previous 18 games played. The 6 three-point field goals made ties his season and career high. He's shooting 50.0% from behind-the-arc over the past eight games.

Amen Thompson made his fifth start and had 8 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals. Thompson is the first rookie to have posted those numbers in a single game since Magic Johnson (14/16/6/7) vs. Portland on 3/12/80. As a starter, Thompson is averaging 11.2 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 4.6 apg and 1.6 spg.

Jabari Smith Jr. scored 20 points. He has scored 20+ points in two of the past four games after doing so once his previous 17 games played. Houston is 6-2 when Smith scores 20+ points this season. Smith had 8 free throw attempts tonight after having a total of 3 the seven games prior.


The Rockets' next game is Wednesday, February 14, on the road, against the Memphis Grizzlies. Tip is set for 7 p.m. Central Time.

SUPPORT The Houston Roundball Review:

Purchase your Houston Rockets' gear at via this link;

Get ESPN+ via this link;

Save when you get the Disney bundle (ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu) with this link;

OR, contribute via PayPal or the Cash App.

CLICK HERE for The HRR's Rockets' write-ups.

Click here to Support The HRR

The HRR's YouTube Channel

Official Merchandise

Houston Roundball Review Merch

Shop at

HBCUs gear

Houston Cougars gear

Rice Owls gear

Texas A&M Aggies gear

Texas Longhorns gear

Texas Southern Tigers gear

Shop at

Houston Rockets gear

Shop at