Suns’ Monty Williams critical of officiating following Game 4 loss to Pelicans

Apr 24, 2022, 10:28 PM | Updated: Apr 25, 2022, 12:23 am
Head coach Monty Williams and Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns react during the second half of Gam...
Head coach Monty Williams and Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns react during the second half of Game Four of the Western Conference First Round against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center on April 24, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams did not mince his words when talking to the media following his team’s 118-103 loss in Game 4 to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Williams was critical of Sunday night’s officiating — particularly the free throw discrepancy.

While it was an ugly performance all around for his squad, Williams may have a gripe with the Pelicans getting to the charity stripe 42 times.

That high number alone could have upset Williams, but comparing that to the Suns 15 attempts, Williams sounded off.

“Coaches shouldn’t have to come up to the microphone and feel like they’re going to get their heads cut off for speaking the truth,” the Suns coach said postgame. “It was 17-to-2 (free throw difference) in the first half. And then they end up with 42.

“That’s hard to do in a game like that,” Williams said. “And it’s not like we don’t attack the basket.”

The Pelicans have had success getting to the line throughout the first four games of the series, leading Phoenix 119-81 in free throws.

Following the loss, forward Cam Johnson said the Suns struggled with knowing how the officials were calling the game.

“We have to raise our physicality, as much as they (officials) let us,” Johnson said.

Williams would receive a technical foul in the second half for arguing a loose ball off Jae Crowder. He said he saw multiple angles where he felt the call would go in the Suns favor, but the officials ultimately didn’t agree.

“They outplayed us, they deserved to win,” Williams said. “But that’s a free throw disparity you have to look at.”

The series is tied up at 2-2 heading back to Phoenix for Game 5 on Tuesday.

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