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Raptors coach Nurse fined over ref rant

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By Agence France-Presse

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has been fined $15,000 following his criticism of officiating during his team’s defeat to Denver at the weekend, the NBA confirmed Tuesday.

Nurse was furious with the officiating crew during the Raptors’ 95-86 loss to the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on Sunday, complaining they had failed to punish systematic fouls on Kawhi Leonard.

“Tonight was a very severe case of a guy who was playing great, taking it to the rim and just getting absolutely held, grabbed, poked, slapped, hit and everything,” Nurse fumed.

“They refused to call any of it. It’s unbelievable to me.

“It’s ridiculous. The guy is one of the best players in the league, and he doesn’t complain, he doesn’t do this, he doesn’t do that, and they just turn their head and go the other way. It’s been going on all year.”

Nurse’s fine was confirmed by NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe.

Leonard said Sunday he was nonplussed by the performance of officials.

“There’s games when I do talk and get no calls,” Leonard said. “So I don’t know what it is. (I’ve) just got to keep going. Just keep playing basketball. Keep fighting and getting through it.”

The Raptors have the best record in the NBA this season, and are leading the Eastern Conference with 23 wins and nine defeats.