Stern fines Spurs 250K for resting stars

NBA commissioner David Stern wasn't very happy with San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich's decision to keep a number of his top players out of Thursday's nationally televised matchup with the Miami Heat, and showed his displeasure by handing the organization a $250,000 fine on Friday.

Stern ruled that Popovich's election not to have Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green make the trip for Thursday's contest was in violation of league policy against resting players "in a manner contrary to the best interests of the NBA."

The Spurs were playing for the fourth time in five days in the finale of a six-game, nine-day road trip.

Despite being without four of its top five scorers, San Antonio held a 92-85 lead on the defending NBA champion Heat with under five minutes to go before Miami rallied for a 105-100 win.

"The result here is dictated by the totality of the facts in this case," said Stern in a statement. "The Spurs decided to make four of their top players unavailable for an early-season game that was the team's only regular-season visit to Miami. The team also did this without informing the Heat, the media, or the league office in a timely way. Under these circumstances, I have concluded that the Spurs did a disservice to the league and our fans."