Knicks’ chaotic, controversial win over Pistons included refs admitting mistake, Monty Williams rant

The New York Knicks are still one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference even without so many injured rotation players right now, which includes Julius Randle, OG Anunoby, and Mitchell Robinson all on the shelf. The Detroit Pistons have been the worst team in the NBA all season. Monday night’s matchup in Madison Square Garden was never supposed to produce one of the most memorable endings of the season, but that’s exactly what happened in the final seconds of the Knicks’ win.

New York beat the Pistons, 113-111, after gaining the lead in a wild final sequence in the closing seconds.

It all started after a missed three by Jalen Brunson: Pistons guard Quentin Grimes lunged to save the ball to Simone Fantechio, who was stripped by Knicks forward Josh Hart. New York’s Isaiah Hartenstein recovered the ball and passed it to Donte DiVincenzo, who threw a bad pass that was intercepted by Detroit rookie Ausar Thompson. As Thompson attempted to push the ball up the court, DiVincenzo dove at his knees, causing the ball to land in Brunson’s hands, who found Hart for the game-winning layup. Watch the play here:

The officials admitted a loose ball foul should have been called on DiVincenzo after the game. Read the refs full comments here. Here’s the important part:

“Upon postgame review, we determined that Thompson gets to the ball first, and then was deprived of the opportunity to gain possession of the ball,” James Williams said. “Therefore, a loose ball foul should have been whistled on New York’s Donte DiVincenzo.”

The refs determined by Thompson had control of the game, which is why they are now saying a foul should have been called. It looks pretty close to whether Thompson actually had control of it. None of this is any consolation to Pistons head coach Monty Williams, who blasted the officiating after the game.

Williams called it “the worst call of the season,” and suggested Detroit has been getting screwed over by the officials all season. He then abruptly left the podium and didn’t answer any questions.

Pistons players were also upset. Cade Cunningham was asked how he felt about the ending after the game: “I’d say livid, that’s the word of the day. Livid.”

The Pistons somehow have to do it all over again tomorrow, when they travel to Chicago to take on the Bulls. Detroit falls to 8-49 overall with the loss.

Hey, at least Cunningham had another good game. The former No. 1 pick has been on fire coming out of the All-Star break, and against New York he put up 32 points and eight assists on 11-of-19 shooting from the floor and 5-of-7 shooting from three.

The Knicks move to 35-23 with the win. New York would be the No. 4 seed in the East if the season ended today.

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