The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Phoenix Suns 109-95 on Thursday night to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.
After the fact, Suns guard Chris Paul suggested that a conspiracy involving referee Scott Foster might have played some role in the outcome.
Chris Paul redirected the end of his final three press conference questions tonight to the same stat: “11 games in a row.” Paul’s teams have lost 11 straight playoff games refereed by Scott Foster. pic.twitter.com/BvbZTGe3eX
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 28, 2021
“We have to try to limit their free throw attempts,” he said.
“They are shooting a lot of free throws, the last game … I mean, if I was a gambling man, 11 games in a row, 11 games in a row. We’ll see what happens: 11 in a row, 11 in a row is tough.”
The “11 games in a row” statement is in reference to the fact that Paul has lost 11 straight playoff games (over his time with four different teams) that Foster has officiated.
In Game 3 the Lakers shot 30 free throws compared to the Suns’ 18. That’s definitely pretty dramatic in terms of a differential.
Of course, what Paul conveniently ignores is that in Game 2 the free throw disparity was only 31-30 in favor of L.A.
Ayesha knows how to stay in the news https://t.co/shn4dxsmTZ
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 27, 2021
It’s also worth mentioning that Paul has benefited from some pretty favorable officiating in this match-up with the Lakers. Back in Game 1, he participated in arguably the ugliest and most dangerous play of the entire series – only to walk away unpunished.
Paul’s teammate, Devin Booker, also experienced something similar.
As such, it’s probably a bit of a stretch on Paul’s part to argue that he is the victim of some overarching conspiracy.