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Tom Thibodeau critical of refs’ consistency after Knicks’ loss

Tom Thibodeau didn’t care much for the officiating in the Knicks’ home loss Monday.

While Thibodeau said he had to watch the film before commenting further, he was clearly not pleased with the 41 free-throw attempts by the Raptors in his team’s 123-121 overtime loss at the Garden.

“It was hard to tell what a foul was,” the Knicks coach said.

The Knicks did go to the free-throw line 35 times themselves. They were called for 28 fouls, compared to 25 on the Raptors.

“I don’t really care if a game’s called tight or if it’s called loose. I just want consistency,” Thibodeau said. “That’s what I look for. And so, it was physical. It was. There was a lot going on. And so again, I wanna watch to make sure I saw what I thought I saw.”

One particular call seemed to irk Thibodeau, a foul called on Jalen Brunson early in overtime and the Knicks down a point. It looked like he was pushed into Fred VanVleet, who led with his elbow. The challenge was not overturned and VanVleet hit two free throws.

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts in the second half of the Knicks’ loss to the Raptors on Monday.
Jason Szenes

“I think it was Scottie [Barnes] that bumped me into him,” Brunson said. “They felt otherwise, and that was that.”

Asked directly about his take on the play, Thibodeau said: “Write what you see.”

Before the game, Thibodeau said his closing five will depend on the flow of the game. After using Immanuel Quickley to finish out games of late, he was on the bench for most of crunch time rather than RJ Barrett or Quentin Grimes. Thibodeau did go offense/defense at one point, inserting Quickley for center Mitchell Robinson.

After scoring 26 points in the loss, Brunson became the first Knicks guard to score at least 25 points in seven straight games since Walt “Clyde” Frazier in 1971. … Julius Randle notched his fourth consecutive double-double, finishing with 21 points and 15 rebounds.

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