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The Scott Foster curse continues to haunt the Phoenix Suns

Mar 22, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Phoenix Suns center Jock Landale (11) sets a screen on Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves (15) as Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) drives to the basket in the first quarter at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Whether there is an actual grudge or if it is pure coincidence, the Phoenix Suns have had an extremely tough time in games where Scott Foster is part of the officiating crew over the past couple of seasons. This was no different in their pivotal game against the Lakers on Wednesday night.

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In general, Los Angeles leads the league averaging over 26 free throws per game, whereas the Suns are near the bottom, averaging only 21. And this disparity was put on full display with Scott Foster a part of the crew.

By the time the final whistle blew, the Lakers had shot 46 free throws compared to only 20 by the Suns. The 46 free throws were the third-highest in a game this season. While this can be explained by the different styles of play of the two teams, there were some questionable calls, nevertheless.

On one play in particular, Chris Paul commented that the Lakers’ Austin Reaves said it himself; there was no foul involved.

https://twitter.com/DuaneRankin/status/1638778467650273281?s=20

Phoenix’s Josh Okogie even commented on one of the plays where Landry Shamet appeared to have barely touched the opponent.

https://twitter.com/CallMe_NonStop/status/1638971027412889601?s=20

This was also called a block instead of a defensive foul and two free throws for Devin Booker.

After the game, Booker responded to the free throw disparity with:

β€œI understand the agendas that are being pushed and trying to just get that out of my head and go out there and compete.”

And perhaps the most concerning video of all:

https://twitter.com/ClutchPointsApp/status/1638768425895104514?s=20

D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers’ point guard, was caught acknowledging that Scott Foster was part of the officiating team after a bad call took place.

All of this resulted in Monty Williams having a quick postgame press conference as he did not have much to say.

https://twitter.com/DuaneRankin/status/1638764889056612353?s=20

However, if the loss shows anything, it is that if the Suns want to make a deep playoff run, they need to start attacking the rim. While their mid-range game is one of the best, if not the best, in the league, mid-range jump shots will rarely get you to the free-throw line.

When the opponent shoots a whopping 26 more free throws than you, winning the game becomes pretty close to impossible.

Arguing with the refs, or complaining about it after the game will do no good for this struggling Suns’ team.

Instead, they need to figure out a way to grab some calls of their own, before it is too late.

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