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Suns coach Monty Williams fined $20k for meltdown over Austin Reaves free throws

The Lakers finally ended their losing streak to the Suns by more than doubling them up at the free throw line led by Austin Reaves, prompting a complaint-fest from Monty Williams, Chris Paul and Devin Booker.

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Update: Less than 48 hours after these comments, the NBA announced that Suns head coach Monty Williams had been fined $20,000 for public criticism of officiating.

Original story follows.

For the first time in almost two years, the Lakers finally beat the Suns in a basketball game. It was a span of 11 games that included the postseason, regular season and even the preseason. No matter the stakes, Phoenix bested the purple and gold at every turn until Wednesday’s effort.

The win was possible because for a handful of reasons from balanced scoring to a strong second half from Anthony Davis. Nothing was more impactful in that than the Lakers’ free throw shooting, particularly in their volume.

The team shot a season-high 46 free throws with over a quarter of those coming from Austin Reaves. The 13 free throws shot by Reaves were the most in the game and tied for the second-most this season individually.

Phoenix, meanwhile, shot 20 free throws on the night. That figure is actually more than their season average of 17, the third-fewest in the league. The Lakers’ mark is, obviously, also more than their season average, but they lead the league at 26.6 attempts per contest.

Despite those last two stats, the Suns were just absolutely flabbergasted at the free throw discrepancy, starting at the top with head coach Monty Williams.

Perhaps the Suns should stop fouling, which they’ve done a lot this year as they have committed the fifth-most fouls in the league. Maybe they should have considered not fouling Austin Reaves on the night.

None of that seemed to cross the minds of Chris Paul and Devin Booker, though, who just could not figure out the answer to the riddle on the night.

Having fired off all the jokes now, it is important to note that Scott Foster was officiating. Of the many storied rivalries in the league, few are greater than Chris Paul vs. Scott Foster.

Foster’s absurdity is not limited to just the Suns, though he seems to take a special level of distaste for Paul’s teams. Spectrum SportsNet’s cameras picked up D’Angelo Russell giving a warning to the team during the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s game.

Realistically, the Suns are a team who just fouls people a lot. They can complain about it all they want, but if you keep fouling people, they’ll keep shooting free throws, and you’ll keep losing the free throw battle. And it’s impressive to lose that battle when you have life-long grifters like Devin Booker and Chris Paul.

Perhaps they can watch film and learn a thing or two from Austin Reaves in this one.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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