The Knicks are still to blame for their 99-96 loss to the Hawks on Sunday, but one confusing play certainly gave the Hawks an advantage in the fourth quarter.
With a little under four minutes to play and the Knicks just 89-86, Hawks guard Kent Bazemore took a three-point shot for the tie, and though he missed, Tim Hardaway Jr. fouled him which results in three free throw attempts. But Bazemore was only awarded two of them.
After missing his second foul shot in a row, the Knicks took the rebound and ran up the court without any referee interference. Head coach Jeff Hornacek called a play that saw Kristaps Porzingis get fed the ball in the low post just as Hardaway sprinted toward the pain, where he dunked home a pass from Porzingis with Bazemore fouling him for an and-one opportunity.
However, after consulting in a group, the referees remembered the extra free throw they were supposed to give Bazemore, and they wiped the Knicks' bucket off the scoreboard. On what could have been a six-point lead for the Knicks, it turned into Bazemore hitting the free throw to make it a two-point game.
Center Kyle O'Quinn couldn't believe the call was made.
"I've never seen something like that. I haven't even ever seen that in 2K (video game)," O'Quinn told NY Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "I can understand if they were blowing the whistle and we didn't hear it or something. But live action? Off a drawn-up play?...I've just never seen something like that, and I still don't understand it."
The reason the refs were allowed to call the play back was because it was under 24 seconds that they remembered they forgot the third free throw for Bazemore. That is why official Pat Fraher made the call to bring Bazemore back to the line.
"Since it was under 24," he said. "we nullify all play and go back to the point of interruption."
So, Hardaway's and-one never happened, and the Knicks momentum was cut down. At the end of the day, though, rules are rules, and SG Courtney Lee understood why the refs made the call.
"That's the rules," Lee said. "You can't compain about it."
Hornacek reiterated that in his post-game presser, and when asked if the refs apologized for taking Hardaway's basket away, he laughed.
"Refs don't apologize," Hornacek said.