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Pacers' Carlisle fined $35K for criticizing referees, implying bias against small markets

Indiana Pacers Rick Carlisle - The Canadian Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle was fined $35,000 by the NBA on Friday for criticizing the officials and “questioning the integrity of the league” with his pleas for fairness for small-market teams.

Carlisle made his comments after the Pacers' 130-121 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday. He was called for two technical fouls and ejected late in the game as Indiana fell into a 2-0 hole in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Carlisle complained about a number of missed calls, which the Pacers subsequently sent to the league for review, and implied a bias in favor of New York.

“Small-market teams deserve an equal shot,” he said. “They deserve a fair shot no matter where they are playing.”

On Thursday, the Pacers sent 78 plays they believed were officiated incorrectly from the first two games to the NBA office for review, a person with knowledge of the action said Thursday.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the Pacers nor the league publicly confirmed the plays were actually sent.

Carlisle had said the Pacers identified 29 plays they felt were wrong in Game 1 — referees had already acknowledged one of them on a kicked ball violation they said was called incorrectly — so that meant 49 more in Game 2.

The Pacers host Game 3 on Friday night.


AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this report.