Monty Williams blasts refs after wild Pistons-Knicks ending: ‘Worst call of the season'

The head referee later admitted that his crew missed a critical call

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Monty Williams was fed up after the Detroit Pistons' latest loss to the New York Knicks Monday night, and with good reason, according to the officiating crew.

Williams' Pistons held a 111-110 lead in the final seconds at Madison Square Garden before utter chaos ensued. The Pistons and Knicks traded possession several times in a matter of seconds before the ball ended up in New York guard Josh Hart's hands beneath the basket. Hart hit an and-one with 2.8 seconds remaining and solidified a 113-111 Knicks victory.

However, Hart would not have gotten the ball had teammate Donte DiVincenzo not plowed into Pistons rookie Ausar Thompson near midcourt after turning the ball over. There was no foul called on the play, leading the Knicks to regain possession and get the ball to Hart for the win.

Williams ripped the officiating after the game, saying it was a culmination of season-long frustration for his team.

"The absolute worst call of the season," Williams said postgame. "No call, and enough's enough. We've done it the right way. We've called the league. We've sent in clips. We're sick of hearing the same stuff over and over again.

"We had a chance to win the game, and a guy dove into Ausur's legs and there was a no-call. That's an abomination. You cannot miss that in an NBA game. Period. And I'm tired of talking about it. I'm tired of my guys asking, 'What more can we do, Coach?' That situation is Exhibit A to what we've been dealing with all season long, and enough's enough.

"You cannot dive into a guy's legs in a big-time game like that and there be a no-call. It's ridiculous, and we're tired of it. We just want a fair game called. Period. And I've got nothing else to say. We want a fair game, and that was not fair."

Williams then left the media room without answering any questions from reporters.

Crew chief James Williams, who was right next to DiVincenzo and Thompson when the controversial play took place, later admitted in the pool report that a call should have been made.

"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," he said. "Therefore, a loose ball foul should have been whistled on New York's Donte DiVincenzo."

Thompson said he expected a foul to be called in real time but got no such luck.

"I was very confused when I was on the ground and the play kept going, I'm not going to lie," he said. "But, I mean, that's how it goes."

With the loss, the Pistons are now an NBA-worst 8-49 on the season.

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