Josh Hart, Tom Thibodeau sound off on refs after Heat beat Knicks

Josh Hart, New York Knicks

Josh Hart could not contain his emotions after the New York Knicks lost for the second straight game in a heated match against rival Miami Heat.

Hart reposted a Tweet that showed Jimmy Butler escaping what seemed to be a traveling violation and instead earned two free throws in the final 34.6 seconds of the game, with the Knicks trailing by five 123-118.

Butler proceeded to hit the two free throws that gave the Heat a seven-point cushion. The Knicks never recovered.

It was the second straight game that spotty officiating cost the Knicks a crucial possession down the stretch.

While New York coach Tom Thibodeau admitted they came up short, he still wanted to look at the fouls they gave up, which resulted in Jimmy Butler hitting 12 of 14 free throws.

“We fell short tonight. We’re going to take a look at the film and see where we can make our corrections,” Thibodeau said. “I want to look at the fouls because I think that was a big part of the game. Some of them are marginal, but I want to make sure I’m seeing what I’m seeing.”

The NBA officiating this season has been hit for inconsistencies.

On the same night that the Knicks lost in Miami, the Dallas Mavericks also had a problem with the officiating during their crucial loss to the defending champion Golden State Warriors.

Toronto Raptors Fred Van Vleet went off at crew chief Ben Taylor in the infamous rant earlier this month that cost him a $30,000 fine.

On Tuesday night, Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard said Mousa Dagher apologized to him in the second half after the Syrian referee hit him with a technical foul and ejected his teammate Terance Mann.

In January, the NBA Referees’ official Twitter apologized for their crucial non-call on a potential game-winning layup of LeBron James in the Los Angeles Lakers’ overtime loss to the Boston Celtics.

While the Knicks may have a legitimate beef with the officiating, they can only blame themselves for their poor perimeter defense, which led them to those situations where they needed the referees to bail them out.

The Knicks dropped to 22-19 in clutch games this season.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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