NBA Finals Notes: Steve Kerr, Stephen Curry each fined $25K


CLEVELAND -- 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" (see full story).

Game 7 sets up legacy battle in Steph vs. LeBron
CLEVELAND -- It's the two-time reigning Most Valuable Player who is trying to finish off a record-setting season with a second straight NBA title, against a two-time champion who is tantalizingly close to finally ending Cleveland's 52-year title drought.

Steph vs. LeBron.

Warriors vs. Cavaliers.

Game 7 awaits on Sunday night to decide these NBA Finals, decide the legacy of the season that has been put together by Stephen Curry and Golden State, and maybe even decide a big chunk of LeBron James' legacy of his second time around in Cleveland, as well.

"I'll take it," James said.

"Forty-eight minutes left," Curry said.

This series is still going because James had his second consecutive 41-point game in Cleveland's 115-101 victory Thursday with the Cavaliers facing elimination again. He's the fifth player in NBA Finals history to post back-to-back games of 40 or more, alongside Jerry West, Shaquille O'Neal, Rick Barry and Michael Jordan (see full story).

Finals ratings for Game 6 down from last year
NEW YORK -- With another lopsided score in Game 6, viewership is down again from last year for the NBA Finals.

A Game 7 is coming Sunday, though, with a chance for a massive audience.

The Cleveland Cavaliers' 115-101 win over the Warriors on Thursday night averaged more than 20.7 million viewers on ABC. That's down about 11 percent from the nearly 23.3 million for last season's Game 6, when Golden State clinched the championship.

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