NBA fines Orlando Coach Brian Hill

March 8, 2006 at 8:23 PM

NEW YORK, March 8 (UPI) -- The NBA Wednesday fined Orlando Magic Coach Brian Hill $25,000 for publicly criticizing officials after Monday's 90-85 loss to Utah.

It was his team's fifth consecutive defeat.

"You have to use your judgment, but I just felt it was necessary to protect my players," Hill, who was very upset with the game's officiating crew (Dan Crawford, Tim Donaghy and Mike Henderson), told the Orlando Sentinel.

Hill was especially upset about an off-the-ball foul called on guard DeShawn Stevenson with 18.4 seconds left. That foul came shortly after the Magic had rallied from a 20-point deficit in the third quarter to tie the score.

On the play, Stevenson attempted a three-pointer and Hill thought his player was fouled on the shot.

Hill first was incensed when his center Tony Battie was assessed two personal fouls in the opening 21 seconds.

The fine was levied by NBA senior vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson.

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