Wednesday 26th April, 2017
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NBA notebook: Conley: Players to pay Fizdales fine

Sports Xchange - Thursday 20th April, 2017

Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale was fined $30,000 by the NBA on Wednesday for criticism of the officiating following the Game 2 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Fizdale ripped the officiating after the Grizzlies' 96-82 loss to the Spurs on Monday night to fall behind 2-0 in the Western Conference first-round best-of-seven playoff series.

However, point guard Mike Conley said the Grizzlies' player will pay the fine.

Conley said when he heard the coach's "Take that for data" line, "We told him right away, you're not going to have to pay that," according to the San Antonio Express-News.

At practice, Conley told reporters that he sent Fizdale a "thank you" text Tuesday at 4 a.m.

Fizdale went on a nearly two-minute rant during his postgame interview and called the work of officials Danny Crawford, Rodney Mott and Bill Spooner "unacceptable" and "unprofessional."

"It was a poorly officiated basketball game," Fizdale said after Monday night's loss. "Zach Randolph, the most rugged guy in the game, has zero free throws but somehow Kawhi Leonard had 19 free throws. I'm not a numbers guy, but that doesn't seem to add up.

"Overall, 35 times we shot the ball in the paint and we had 15 free throws for the game. They shot 18 times in the paint and shot 32 free throws. Kawhi shot more free throws than our whole team -- explain it to me.

"We don't get the respect that these guys deserve, but I'm not going to let them treat us that way. I know Pop's (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) got pedigree and I'm a young rookie, but they are not going to rook us. That's unacceptable, that's unprofessional. My guys dug in that game and earned the right to be in that game, and (the refs) did not even give us a chance."

--Forward Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors officially is listed as questionable for Game 2 against the visiting Portland Trail Blazers.

Durant recorded 32 points and 10 rebounds despite a strained left calf in the series-opening 121-109 victory on Sunday. He missed the team's shootaround on Wednesday morning.

ESPN reported, citing league sources, said Golden State is mulling the merits of sitting Durant on Wednesday as a means to give him five full days off before Game 3 on Saturday in Portland.

Durant missed 19 games because of a strained MCL and bone bruise in his left leg before returning at the end of the regular season.

--Guard Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics was fined $25,000 by the NBA for making an obscene gesture toward a fan during the Game 2 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

The incident occurred with 6:07 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Celtics' 111-97 loss to the Bulls at TD Garden on Tuesday night in their first-round Eastern Conference best-of-seven playoff series.

The Bulls are the first No. 8 seed to take a 2-0 lead in a first-round series as the next two games shift to Chicago

Smart appeared to give a fan the middle finger after missing a 3-pointer with the Bulls up by 14 points.

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