NBA fines Pelicans coach Gentry for criticizing officiating

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry has been fined $15,000 by the NBA for publicly criticizing the league’s officiating following New Orleans’ 107-101 loss to Houston on Saturday night.

The punishment was announced Sunday by Kiki VanDeWeghe, the league’s executive vice president for basketball operations.

Gentry, who also had been assessed a technical foul during the game, lambasted a decision to award free throws to the Rockets’ James Harden after a missed 3-pointer about midway through the fourth quarter.

Harden threw his arms toward New Orleans’ Jrue Holiday as he went up for the shot. Holiday, Gentry and the crowd were furious with the call. Gentry claimed he saw Harden wink after the foul was called. He demonstratively walked away from official David Guthrie and sat on the bench.

The foul gave Harden four free throws. He made three to put Houston ahead.

Gentry says Guthrie guessed on the call, unduly influencing the outcome of a game with playoff implications. Gentry also criticized officials for not calling fouls when Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis is grabbed by defenders while moving without the ball on the offensive end.

Gentry, who revisited the matter Sunday before New Orleans hosted Boston, says he expected to be fined and that “it’s time to move on.”

The coach says Pelicans cannot “play the victim card.”

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