Chris Paul Shades Official Scott Foster After Suns' Game 3 Loss to Lakers

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 28, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) argues a call during the first half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday, May 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul alluded to his longstanding issues with NBA referee Scott Foster after his team's 109-95 Game 3 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.

"If I was a betting man, 11 games in a row. ... 11 in a row is tough," Paul told reporters, referring to the fact his teams have lost 11 consecutive playoff games in which Foster has served as one of the officials.

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

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

The Lakers took a 2-1 series lead with Thursday's win.

Paul didn't mention Foster by name during his remarks. It's something he alluded to after losing Game 7 of a first-round playoff series to the Houston Rockets while he was a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder last season. That was another game officiated by Foster.

"They're going to fine me. I said his name. We already know the history," Paul said in September.

Foster called Paul for delay of game in that contest while the veteran point guard was trying to stall to see whether the previous play would be reviewed.

In 2019, the Wake Forest product said he attended a meeting with Foster and league officials, but it wasn't enough to smooth over their combative relationship.

"I don't know what else to do," Paul told reporters. "I've met with the league with him. I don't know what else to do."

The Action Network noted Paul's playoff losing streak in Foster-called games has spanned four different NBA teams: Suns (0-1), Thunder (0-1), Rockets (0-4) and Los Angeles Clippers (0-5).

Regardless of the circumstances, the Suns are now staring down a crucial Game 4 on Sunday afternoon at Staples Center as they look to avoid a potentially insurmountable 3-1 series deficit.

More production from Paul, who's been playing through a shoulder injury, would help. He's averaged 6.7 points, 6.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds through the first three games of the series, which is well below his numbers in those categories from the regular season (16.4/8.9/4.5).

Tipoff for Sunday's clash between Phoenix and L.A. is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.