Monty Williams rips officials after 'worst call of season' costs Detroit Pistons; ref admits fault

Monty Williams lit into the officials after a no-call cost the Detroit Pistons in a close 113-111 loss to the New York Knicks on Monday night.

With the Pistons nursing a 111-110 lead, Ausar Thompson stole the ball and was speared in the midsection by Donte Divincenzo as he raced down the sideline to secure the possession. Jalen Brunson grabbed the ball and then found Josh Hart open near the rim.

Hart finished the layup as he was fouled by Jalen Duren, and Hart proceeded to grab two offensive rebounds off of missed free throws to clinch the vicrory for New York. After the game, referree James Williams acknowledged in the pool report that a loose-ball foul should've been called on Divincenzo, as Thompson made contact with the ball first with his left hand.

Williams argued with the officials after Thompson was tackled, and was angry as he took the podium afterward. It was a physical final 30 seconds of the game, with the referees permitting a lot of contact leading up to Divincenzo's takedown.

"Where's the New York media now?" he asked. "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."

After the game, the Associated Press' Brian Mahoney conducted a pool report interview with the game's officiating crew chief, James Williams, who admitted they missed the call on the play in question.

"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," Williams said.

Officiating has been a sore subject for the Pistons, who lead the NBA with 21.9 personal fouls committed per game. But Monday was Williams' most passionate defense of his team yet, one likely to draw a fine from the league office.

Grimes, who scored all 14 of his points in the fourth quarter, gave Detroit the lead with 37.3 seconds remaining by getting to the rim for a layup. Jalen Brunson missed a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left, and a physical, wild battle for possession ensured. Grimes secured the defensive rebound and whipped the ball to Simone Fontecchio as he fell out of bounds. But Fontecchio had the ball stolen from him, before Thompson recovered the possession by intercepting a bad pass by DiVincenzo.

The Pistons trailed by as many as 13 points in the third quarter before a fourth-quarter rally. The loss spoiled a big night for Cade Cunningham, who made his first seven shots and finished with 32 points, eight assists, five rebounds and a pair of blocks.

"You cannot dive into a guys legs in a big time game like that, and there be a no-call," Williams said. "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."

Contact Omari Sankofa II at Follow him @omarisankofa.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Monty Williams rips referees after Detroit Pistons loss at Knicks