Pistons’ Williams Blasts Refs After Loss For “Worst Call Of The Season”

Two weeks after narrowly losing a game in Houston following a blown last-second call, the Knicks benefited from a missed call late in a two-point home victory over Detroit on Monday.

As Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press and Tim Bontemps of ESPN detail, the Knicks were trailing 111-110 in the game’s final minute and lost control of the ball with 10 seconds left. As Pistons guard Ausar Thompson began dribbling up the court, Knicks wing Donte DiVincenzo dove into him, jarring the ball loose (Twitter video links). No foul was called on DiVincenzo as the Knicks recovered the loose ball and Josh Hart scored the game-winning basket en route to a 113-111 victory.

“Where’s the New York media now?” Pistons head coach Monty Williams said after the game. “The absolute worst call of the season. 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 Ausar’s legs, and it 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 our guys asking me, ‘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.”

In the pool report conducted by Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press after the game, crew chief James Williams admitted that the officials got the call wrong.

“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,” Williams said. “Therefore, a loose ball foul should have been whistled on New York’s Donte DiVincenzo.”

Pistons guard Cade Cunningham described the team as “livid” after the game, while Thompson admitted he was surprised when the play continued without a foul being called.

“I was very confused when I was on the ground and the play kept going, I’m not going to lie,” Thompson said. “But, I mean, that’s how it goes.”

As Sankofa writes, the officiating has been a sore spot for Williams and the Pistons all season — the club has been whistled for an NBA-high 21.9 fouls per game while losing 49 of 57 contests. Still, Williams’ post-game comments on Monday were his strongest indictment yet of a game’s referees and seem likely to warrant the league’s attention.

Williams was fined last March when he was coaching the Suns for his comments about the officiating following a loss to the Lakers, but hasn’t faced any penalties from the league for his comments to the press so far this season. That could change as soon as later today.

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