Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Billy Donovan Fined $15k for Criticizing Refs

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - NOVEMBER 3: Paul George #13 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder look on during the game against the Boston Celtics on November 3, 2017 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The NBA announced Wednesday that Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan were all fined $15,000 for criticizing officials following Sunday's 103-99 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, according to the Oklahoman's Erik Horne

The Associated Press' Brian Mahoney added the Flagrant 2 assessed to Carmelo Anthony was upheld, while Westbrook's Flagrant 1 was downgraded to a common foul upon review.

Anthony was tossed from Sunday's game at Moda Center in the third quarter after he made contact with Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic's chin on a converted and-1. 

"I've never seen in the history of the game a guy get an and-1 play and then get ejected from the game," Donovan said, per ESPN.com's Royce Young. "That's probably something you've got to talk to the league about."

Donovan also said he thought the referees should have looked at a play in the third quarter when Westbrook was hit in the face by Noah Vonleh, according to the Oklahoman's Brett Dawson

"I thought that play should’ve been reviewed. It may have proven nothing, but I think when someone gets hit in the face and goes down to the floor and you gotta call a timeout, you should at least review it just to make sure. I don’t know why they reviewed the other one. Maybe whoever it was, Nurkic, whoever it was, stayed down longer. I probably didn’t ask Russell to stay down on the court long enough to get it reviewed."

Westbrook referred to the referees' calls (and non-calls) as "bulls--t." 

"I got hit in the face. They didn’t review it, as they should. I just think that when it’s us, our team, myself, they don't do the same thing they do other games. Last game, tipped ball against the Celtics, I accidentally hit [Jaylen Brown] in the face. Flagrant foul on me. It was an accident, but I hit him. I accidentally got hit in the face today. Nobody looks at it. Melo go hit Nurkic, 'Oh, we're gonna go review it, look at it.'"

George chimed in and told reporters he thought Anthony's ejection was "crazy," as well as noting the Thunder "haven't been getting the benefit of the doubt" from the officials. 

"We deemed that the contact was excessive and that it was not a natural basketball move, where he seeks out Nurkic, hits him in the face with an elbow and goes back to the basket," crew chief Rodney Mott said of Anthony's ejection, according to the league. "So because it's unnatural and it's deemed excessive, therefore it is a flagrant foul penalty 2."

The Thunder will try to snap a three-game losing streak Thursday when they return to the floor against the Denver Nuggets