Knicks cry foul on late-game play

NEW YORK -- The Knicks needed a stop, one that would have given them a chance at an eighth straight win and continued Linsanity for at least a couple more days. Then Jared Jeffries and Landry Fields converged on the Hornets’ Marco Bellinelli with 25 seconds left and New Orleans holding a three-point lead.

Fields was quickly called for a personal foul. He grabbed Bellinelli by the arm. But Fields and Jeffries argued that Bellinelli called timeout before Fields committed the foul that gave Bellinelli a pair of free throws that put the Hornets ahead by five, before going on to win 89-85 Friday night to end one of the most exciting and intriguing two weeks of the Knicks’ season.

“He was screaming, 'timeout, timeout,’” Jeffries said of Bellinelli. “Landry might have fouled him but he called timeout first.”

The call forced the Knicks to look for a 3-pointer to close the gap quickly. Steve Novak and Fields missed on back-to-back tries before Tyson Chandler was forced to foul Jarrett Jack with 15 seconds left. Jack’s foul shots gave New Orleans a seven-point advantage and essentially put the game out of reach.

“They said that [Fields] grabbed his arm and he might have,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I was just hoping that he didn’t think we were fouling automatically because we didn’t want to foul at that point.”

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