Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson has been fined $35,000 for publicly criticizing game officials, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Jackson was fined for comments made after the Lakers’ 100-81 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, April 4, at STAPLES Center.

Elliot Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News reports:

Jackson was displeased with the manner in which calls went against Ron Artest, who was locked in a physical battle with Manu Ginobili.

“They wouldn’t let Ron play the way he played prior to (a second-quarter technical foul),” Jackson said Sunday. “(Ginobili) could hook Ron (who) didn’t get what was going on and ended up getting too many fouls on him.

“The way we ended up the half, I think turned the referees against us and when you do that, that’s an unfortunate thing. Ron didn’t back off and didn’t read that official well enough to know (when) to back off. … Ginobili forced the issue and got the calls.”

The NBA playoffs are approaching fast.