The NBA has fined Celtics coach Doc Rivers $25,000 for publicly criticizing the league's officials.
Rivers' comments were made following Boston's ugly 87-71 loss to New York on Tuesday. His beef: the tight treatment of Kevin Garnett, who finished with 12 points (on 4-for-9 shooting), 11 rebounds and five fouls in just 24 minutes. Garnett was forced to the sideline less than four minutes into the game with two fouls and also picked up a rare moving screen call late in the game.
WEEI.com reported Rivers' pointed assessment as well as Garnett's non-reaction.
“I thought the fouls on Kevin were horrendous, and had a huge effect on us,” Rivers said. "He never got his rhythm when you could see he was going to have a game. It hurt us.”
“At times, it’s frustrating,” Garnett said. “But fouls are part of the game. Refs are calling things but it’s an aggressive time in postseason play. I just have to be consistent and position myself not to foul so much.”
Rivers' frustration was understandable. The Celtics managed just 23 points in the second half, shooting just 4-for-18 in the third quarter and 3-for-18 in the fourth quarter. As Boston floundered, Carmelo Anthony was having his way, finishing with 34 points (on 11-for-24 shooting) in 39 minutes. J.R. Smith added 19 points (on 7-of-15 shooting) off the bench. Game 3 is set for Boston on Friday with the Knicks leading the series 2-0. New York is seeking its first playoff series victory since 2000; Boston has advanced to at least the second round of the playoffs in each of the last five seasons.