By: TIM REYNOLDS
AP Basketball Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) Steve Kerr and Stephen Curry let their frustrations with Game 6 of the NBA Finals be known, and it came at a price.
Each was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Friday for separate incidents. Kerr, the league’s coach of the year, was fined for publicly criticizing officiating after the game, which Cleveland won 115-101 to force a deciding Game 7 in the title series.
Curry was fined for throwing his mouthpiece into the stands after fouling out of the game with 4:22 left.
Kerr took issue with three of the six fouls that were called on Curry in the game, even calling referee Jason Phillips out by name for the one that ended the night for the two-time reigning NBA MVP.
“Three of the six fouls were incredibly inappropriate calls for anybody, much less the MVP of the league,” Kerr said in his postgame news conference, surely knowing that the league would be sending a bill for those remarks.
Curry didn’t like many of the calls either, and let some words – and his mouthpiece – fly after fouling out. Phillips also tacked on a technical and ejected Curry, who apologized almost immediately to the fan he hit inadvertently with the mouthpiece.
“I’m happy he threw his mouthpiece,” Kerr said postgame . “He should be upset. Look, it’s the finals and everybody’s competing out there. There are fouls on every play. It’s a physical game. … If they’re going to let Cleveland grab and hold these guys constantly on their cuts and then you’re going to call these ticky-tack fouls on the MVP of the league to foul him out, I don’t agree with that.”
Game 7 is Sunday on the Warriors’ home floor in Oakland, California. Neither decision by the NBA was a surprise; the league precedent for throwing a mouthpiece is a fine in most cases, and the Warriors weren’t worried about the MVP being suspended for the last game of the season.
It was Curry’s first ejection, and his time fouling out since Dec. 13, 2013.
“It got the best of me,” Curry said, “but I’ll be all right for next game.”