NBA fines Mavs $100,000 for 3rd bench violation in playoffs





Dallas Mavericks players watch from the bench during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA Basketball Playoff Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco, Friday, May 20, 2022. (AP Photo/ Jed Jacobsohn)

DALLAS (AP) — The NBA fined the Dallas Mavericks a third time in the playoffs on Sunday for bench rule violations.

The fine has doubled each time, the latest to $100,000 after Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals at Golden State on Friday. Game 3 in Dallas was Sunday night. None of the fines came from games in Dallas.

Several Mavericks players have appeared in most or all playoff games, including home games. The fines were imposed on players and coaches standing for long periods, straying too far from the bench and encroaching on the pitch during the game.

The first two fines came from the Western semifinals against Phoenix, after games 2 and 7 in Arizona. The first fine was $25,000, the second $50,000 after a 33-point win at Dallas in the deciding game.

In the Warriors’ 126-117 Game 2 win, Stephen Curry threw a pass out of bounds with no teammates in the area. The pass was near Dallas’ Theo Pinson, who was wearing a white shirt as he stood and waved. Golden State wore their white uniforms at home.

“He’s got his arms up, claiming the ball,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after Sunday’s shootout. “It’s too much.”

Kerr added that Curry’s turnover was the only time he was upset by the Dallas bench in Game 2.

“I actually love their bench,” Kerr said. “They have great chemistry, great energy. They’ve had a phenomenal season, and that’s partly because they’re so connected.

Pinson signed a 10-day contract with the Mavericks during a COVID-19 outbreak early in the season. He ended up getting a two-year contract and led the cheers from the bench as his playing time dwindled. Pinson has been inactive in the playoffs.

Tim Hardaway Jr. also entered the spirit of cheers from the bench. He’s been out since January with a broken left foot and isn’t expected to return in the playoffs.

They’re not the only ones standing for long stretches, and the Mavericks may not be ready to change their approach with the bench, if Hardaway’s reaction on Twitter to the latest fine is any indication.

“It’s the league’s decision to amend, but we’re not going to sit down,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said before Game 3. “We’re going to cheer. It’s, I think, a positive element that the bench can consider as it makes a donation to a beautiful charity.

In another Game 2 incident, Davis Bertans of the Mavericks got tangled up with Damion Lee after making a 3-pointer past the Dallas bench. The contact led to several Golden State players approaching the bench, but there were no clashes. Bertans and Lee received technical fouls.

Kidd said after the second fine the club would check with the league to see what was acceptable. He said Sunday night that he hadn’t spoken to the league.

“It’s just finding things to complain about,” Kidd said. “And we are not a complaining organization. You want to talk about the bench, then talk about the bench. It’s yours.

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