League fines Celtics' Pierce and Magic coach Van Gundy

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Boston Celtics All-Star forward Paul Pierce and Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy were fined by the NBA for separate incidents that occurred earlier this week, the league said on Saturday.

Pierce was fined $15,000 for tossing an object into the stands during a road game against the Indiana Pacers and Van Gundy was fined $35,000 for comments he made about officials following the team's recent victory over the New York Knicks.

After Orlando's Dwight Howard picked up his league-leading 12th technical foul during a 112-103 win over New York on December 30, Van Gundy said his All-Star center was being singled out by game officials for his words and actions on the court.

"I could probably give you 20 guys who are a lot harder on officials than he is. Why he's been the guy to get all the technical's, I don't know," Van Gundy said after the game.

"But there are a lot of guys around the league who are a lot harder on officials, yell at them, swear and everything else and get away with it."

According to NBA rules, Howard will be suspended for one game if he gets 16 technical fouls and an additional game for every two technical fouls after that.

Before the season began, the NBA said they would enforce stricter rules for technical fouls in a bid to clean up the game's image on the court.

Referees were instructed to call a technical foul for actions such as aggressive gestures like air punches, demonstrative disagreement and questioning a call excessively.

Pierce's incident occurred early in the opening quarter of the Celtics' 95-83 win over the Pacers on December 28 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

He led all players in the game with 21 points and seven assists, including 10 points during a two-minute span of the second quarter that cut Indiana's led to 39-35.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)