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NBA fines Pacers coach Rick Carlisle $35,000 for public criticism of officiating in series vs. Knicks

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The NBA has fined Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle $35,000 after he called out the officiating in the first two games of an ​​Eastern Conference semifinal series against the New York Knicks. 

The NBA announced the fine Friday, citing Carlisle’s remarks after the Pacers’ 130-121 loss to the Knicks Wednesday night. 

Pacers coach reacts during a game

Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle reacts during the first half of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden May 6, 2024, in New York City. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The league took action against Carlisle’s “public criticism of the officiating and questioning the integrity of the league and its officials,” a press release stated. 

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Carlisle was called for two technical fouls and ejected late in the game as the Pacers lost two straight to start the series. 

“I’m always talking to our guys about not making it about the officials,” he said Wednesday. “We deserve a fair shot. There’s not a consistent balance, and that’s disappointing. Give New York credit for the physicality that they’re playing with. But their physicality is rewarded and ours is penalized, time after time.”

Rick Carlisle argues with a referee

Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle argues a call with referee Josh Tiven during the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Madison Square Garden May 8, 2024, in New York City. (Elsa/Getty Images)

RICK CARLISLE RIPS REFEREES, ARGUES PACERS ‘DESERVE A FAIR SHOT’ IN PLAYOFF SERIES AGAINST KNICKS

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

The Pacers sent 78 plays to the NBA to review, 29 from Game 1 and 49 from Game 2, The Associated Press reported, citing sources. 

Rick Carlisle reacts during a game

Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle reacts to a call during the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Madison Square Garden May 8, 2024, in New York City. (Elsa/Getty Images)

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Officials have already admitted to incorrectly calling a kicked ball violation late in Game 1. 

The series heads to Indiana for Game 3. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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