Williams, Suns frustrated by free throw disparity
Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams gave just one answer before leaving his postgame news conference Wednesday night, his team furious with the large free throw disparity that favored the Lakers in Los Angeles’ 122-111 home victory.
Williams ripped the game officials and described what he sees as a pattern of unfair officiating against his team in recent games. The Lakers shot 46 free throws to the Suns’ 20, outscoring Phoenix by 21 points at the foul line.
“Where do you see a game with 46 free throws for one team?” Williams said. “That’s just not right. I don’t care how you slice it. It is happening to us too much. Other teams are reaching, other teams are hitting, and we’re not getting the same call, and I’m tired of it. It’s old. Forty-six to 20 free throws with Devin Booker on our team. He gets 12. I mean, our bench had no free throws. It’s just … I’m over it. Been talking about the same thing for a while. Doesn’t matter what team it is.”
Booker scored 25 of his 33 points in the second half for the Suns, who have been called for 31 personal fouls in each of their past two games. Chris Paul said the box score was “a little weird looking.”
“We’ve been seeing some crazy stuff in different situations,” Paul added. “I watch a lot of basketball, and … we’ve got a guy [Booker] who goes [to the rim] night in and night out and you don’t necessarily see the same [calls]. It’s crazy. Crazy how some of [the officials] too, you can’t even talk to them or approach them … because that [communication] is horrible.”
Paul had 18 points for the Suns, who have lost five of six. Phoenix hadn’t lost to the Lakers in six games, since May 2021.
The Lakers shot 27 free throws in the first half to the Suns’ 10, but Phoenix rallied back to trail by just one point with 7:29 to play. The Lakers then put it away with a 16-6 run.
“After the game is controlled in the first half and we’re down 20 to 30 free throws, it’s kind of easier for them to give us some after that,” Booker said. “Like Chris said, I watch these games every night, so I kind of understand what’s going on. I understand the agendas that are being pushed, and trying to just get that out of my head and go out there and compete.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.