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NBA fines Pelicans coach Gentry, Pistons Van Gundy for ref rants

Head coach Alvin Gentry of the New Orleans Pelicans was seething after the his team's 107-101 home loss to the Houston Rockets (AFP Photo/Rob Carr)

New York (AFP) - The NBA dropped $15,000 fines on New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry and Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy on Sunday for their bitter criticism of officiating in games on Saturday.

Gentry was seething after the Pelicans' 107-101 home loss to the Houston Rockets.

He was especially angry about a foul called on New Orleans point guard Jrue Holiday while Houston star James Harden was shooting a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter -- a call that drew jeers from the home crowd and eventually saw Gentry whistled for a technical for arguing it.

"All we want is an equal opportunity to win the game, not have a situation where we are guessing on the biggest play of the game," said an emotional Gentry, whose Pelicans are eighth in the Western Conference and fighting for their playoff lives.

"All of you take a look at the play, and if you think that's a foul, if anybody out here thinks it's a foul, then you tell me, and I'll shut up, and I won't say one more thing. You take a look at the play and tell me what you think when a guy comes up and winks and says, 'I got him.'"

Gentry also complained that Pelicans star Anthony Davis "never gets a call".

"You know why? Because he doesn't bitch and complain about it," Gentry said. "He just keeps playing the game. So then it comes down to just a few plays in the game. You can't guess on plays when you got teams playing for playoff spots. You can't guess on a foul. That's not right. That's not the way you do it. We are fighting our asses off for a playoff spot."

Shortly after announcing Gentry's fine, Kiki VanDeWeghe, executive vice president of basketball operations, announced Van Gundy's.

Van Gundy baldly claimed the Pistons "got screwed" by officials in their 100-87 loss to the Trail Blazers in Portland that left Detroit in ninth place in the East, their playoff hopes fading with every defeat.

"They held and grabbed on every play and they got away with fouls all over the place," Van Gundy said. "We got absolutely screwed all night.”

He cited a string of calls he disagreed with, including two fourth-quarter drives to the basket by Pistons star Blake Griffin.

"It's not a clean strip when you slap down and the ball goes up in the air," Van Gundy said. "Try it sometime: somebody hold the ball, hit the guy on the ball and knock it down and see if it goes up in the air. He gets screwed twice."

The outbursts by Gentry and Van Gundy were just the latest to draw fines from a league that doesn't tolerate public criticism of officiating.

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Griffin was fined $15,000 on Friday after calling officiating in his team's Thursday loss to the Rockets "a joke".