Knicks survive Pistons after controversial no call by the referee

In one of the most chaotic sequences of the season, the New York Knicks narrowly escaped with a thrilling 113-111 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Former Knick, Quentin Grimes nearly stole the show with a clutch layup avoiding Precious Achiuwa in air to put the Pistons up 111-109 with just 37 seconds remaining.

As tensions soared, Jalen Brunson, leading the Knicks’ offensive charge, took a crucial three-point shot that unfortunately misfired, intensifying the pressure on the Knicks to reclaim the lead.

Grimes seized the rebound, looking for an open team-mate. In a frantic exchange, Simone Fontecchio found himself in possession of the ball, only for it to be swiftly knocked away. Isiah Hartenstein capitalized on the loose ball, swiftly dishing it out to Donte DiVincenzo in an attempt to orchestrate a scoring opportunity for Brunson.

However, the Pistons’ Cade Cunningham intercepted the pass, initiating a fast break as he dashed down the court in pursuit of a pivotal basket before being tackled by DiVincenzo, leading to a turnover and a sudden change of possession. The refs allowed the game to continue without calling a foul against the Knicks’ guard.

With mere seconds remaining on the clock, the Knicks found themselves in a precarious position. In a last-ditch effort to secure victory, Brunson managed to corral the loose ball, finding Josh Hart positioned inside for a layup. While also being fouled in the process, Hart managed to convert the first free throw but missed the second as the final buzzer sounded, bringing an end to an exhilarating and chaotic finish.

Following the thrilling yet controversial conclusion to the game, emotions ran high, particularly for Pistons’ coach Monty Williams. Expressing his frustration in the post-game press conference, Williams minced no words as he labeled the final call of the game as “the worst call of the season.”

“Where’s the New York media now? The absolutely worst call of the season. No call and enough is 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.”

Monty Williams

Crew chief, referee James Williams stepped forward to address the controversy surrounding the final call. In a pool report issued after the game, Williams admitted that the call should have been made differently, acknowledging the error and its implications.

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

James Williams

The Knicks, no strangers to the sting of controversial calls, could empathize with the Pistons’ disappointment. Just prior to the All-Star break, a similarly questionable call by the referee had cost the Knicks dearly, robbing them of a potential victory in Houston and denying them the opportunity to extend the game into overtime.

Leading the charge for the Knicks was Jalen Brunson, who delivered a stellar performance with 35 points and 12 assists, including an impressive 14-point explosion in the first quarter. Joining him in the scoring effort were Josh Hart with 23 points and 8 rebounds, and Donte DiVincenzo with 21 points, shooting 5-10 from beyond the arc.

Former Pistons Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks made valuable contributions off the bench, combining for 20 points, with Bogdanovic tallying 13 points.

On the Pistons side, Cade Cunningham led the charge with 32 points, followed by Jaden Ivy with 14 points, Simone Fontecchio with 12 points, and Jalen Duren with 11 points and a game-high 16 rebounds.

The Knicks maintained their consistency throughout the game, particularly in the third quarter, where they held onto a lead that was never cut to less than 5 points.

Despite a late 12-3 run by the Pistons before halftime that tied the game at 53, the Knicks managed to hold onto a 62-58 lead heading into the break. They had asserted their dominance early on, building a commanding 39-27 lead after the first quarter and extending it to 46-33 just three minutes into the second quarter.

The Pistons drop 8-49 and mark the largest losing streak against a team, standing at 14 straight losses against the New York Knicks.

Up-next: The Knicks (35-23) will host the Pelicans (34-24) on Tuesday from 7:30pm.

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UP-NEXT:

Thu, Apr 25, 07:30 PM
Wells Fargo Center
@
(2-0)
(0-2)
TV: MSG
TNT/truTV

Still to go:

Apr 28, 01:00 PM
ABC
@
Apr 30, 12:00 AM
MSG
TBD
vs
May 02, 12:00 AM
MSG
TBD
@
May 04, 12:00 AM
MSG
TNT
vs

Last 10 games:

Apr 22:
104 - 101
W
vs
Apr 20:
111 - 104
W
vs
Apr 14:
120 - 119
W
vs
Apr 12:
111 - 107
W
vs
Apr 11:
109 - 118
W
@
Apr 09:
117 - 128
W
@
Apr 07:
109 - 122
W
@
Apr 05:
108 - 100
L
@
Apr 04:
120 - 109
W
vs
Apr 02:
109 - 99
L
@

NBA Teams

PLAYER MOVEMENT

Roster moves
DateMove
Mar 25, 2024Signed guard DaQuan Jeffries to a Rest-of-Season Contract.
Mar 25, 2024Signed forward Mamadi Diakite to a Rest-of-Season Contract.
Mar 14, 2024Signed guard DaQuan Jeffries to a 10-Day Contract.
Mar 14, 2024Signed forward Mamadi Diakite to a 10-Day Contract.
Mar 05, 2024Signed guard Shake Milton to a Rest-of-Season Contract.