Josh Smith was called for two questionable fouls in the final 22 seconds to turn a Hawks lead into a 106-104 loss to the Knicks Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
The Hawks held a 104-103 lead after Smith found Al Horford for a dunk with 1:35 remaining.
After a Knicks miss, Smith got the rebound and dribbled up court but was called for an over-and-back infraction. That didn't hurt the Hawks as they came up with a loose ball on the ensuing play.
Then came the foul calls.
Smith was whistled for fouling Raymond Felton while setting a screen for Jeff Teague with 37.4 seconds remaining.
Carmelo Anthony, with Smith guarding him, drove to the basket for a layup. He went under the outstretched hand of Smith, who was called for the and-one foul. He completed three-point play with a free throw with 12.5 seconds left.
"I have not seen the instant replay," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "I couldn't tell you if it was a foul or not, honestly."
The Hawks had a final chance. Jeff Teague drove into the lane and kicked out to Smith when the Knicks defense collapsed on him. Smith missed the shot and the Knicks escaped with a narrow victory on a night the Hawks shot 60 percent from the field.
"We can agree to disagree on those calls," Smith said. "They definitely were the difference makers. Nothing you really can do. We still had a chance to win the game after that. We just fell short."
Drew said the Hawks ran the final play as planned with Teague driving to the basket.
Anthony finished with a game-high 42 points, including nine 3-pointers. The Knicks forward tied the franchise record for 3-pointers in a game.
Questionable calls late cost Hawks in loss to Knicks
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Jan 28