Pistons coach Monty Williams erupts on officials after wild ending in loss to Knicks: 'That was an abomination'

The Knicks escaped with a 113-111 win over the Pistons after Josh Hart converted an and-1 in the final seconds on Monday night

Monty Williams went off on Monday night after a wild ending in the Detroit Pistons’ loss to the New York Knicks.

The Pistons head coach was furious with the officiating after what he felt was a blatant missed call in a chaotic sequence in the final seconds at Madison Square Garden. Williams railed into the referees and the league for about a full minute before he stood up and walked out of the interview room completely following the 113-111 loss to the Knicks.

“The absolute worst call of the season, no call. Enough’s enough,” Williams said. “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 the guy dove into Ausar’s legs, and there was a no call. That was an abomination. You cannot miss that in an NBA game. Period.”

Those comments are sure to earn Williams a fine from the league in the coming days.

After a chaotic finish, and what the Pistons viewed as a missed foul call in the final seconds, Monty Williams railed into the referees at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.
After a chaotic finish, and what the Pistons viewed as a missed foul call in the final seconds, Monty Williams railed into the referees at Madison Square Garden on Monday night. (AP/Adam Hunger)

In his defense, it’s easy to understand why he was so upset. The finish was truly chaotic in the final seconds on Monday night. With the Pistons up by a single point down the stretch, both teams struggled to maintain possession as the Knicks kept missing shots. After multiple missed shots and turnovers, Ausar Thompson managed to grab the ball and started to push it down the court.

But before he could make any progress, Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo dove for the ball and ended up taking out Thompson’s legs in the process. No foul was called.

Jalen Brunson then grabbed the loose ball and found Josh Hart, who made a layup and eventually hit a free throw to convert the three-point play and give the Knicks the win.

While there was plenty of contact between DiVincenzo and Thompson, officials didn’t call a foul.

“That situation is exhibit A to what we’ve been dealing with all season long, and enough’s enough,” Williams said. “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. I’m done.”

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau didn't want to get into the sequence when asked directly after the game, but said that he thought "in general, it was very physical" between the two teams.

"You can go back the whole game and nitpick calls," DiVincenzo said, via The Athletic's Fred Katz. "Do I think we dodged a bullet overall? Yes. I have great respect for Monty and everybody over there. Like I said, we dodged a bullet with the win."

Crew chief James Williams told The Associated Press' Brian Mahoney after the game that, upon review of the final play, they should have called a foul on DiVincenzo. But as it wasn't called in the moment, it didn't matter.

Brunson led the Knicks with 35 points and 12 assists in the win, which brought them to 35-23 on the season, good for fourth in the Eastern Conference. Hart added 23 points and eight rebounds, and DiVincenzo finished with 21 points after he shot 5-of-10 from behind the arc.

Cade Cunningham led the Pistons with 32 points in the loss. Jalen Duren added 11 points and 16 rebounds, and Thompson finished with seven points and four rebounds. The Pistons are just 8-49 on the season, which is the worst record in the league, and they have not won a game coming out of the All-Star break.

The Pistons will take on the Chicago Bulls next on Tuesday night.