Mavs' Dampier: 'Call it both ways'

Updated: April 26, 2010, 11:04 PM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

SAN ANTONIO -- Dallas Mavericks center Erick Dampier said late Friday he was miffed at the overall officiating in the 94-90 Game 3 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Dampier didn't mince words in criticizing a crew that included one of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's least-favorite referees, Danny Crawford.

By Cuban's count, the Mavs have lost 16 of 17 playoff games with Crawford on the floor.

"When we play defense we're under a magnifying glass, but when we're on offense, there's no magnifying glasses," Dampier said. "You've got to call it both ways. Dirk Nowitzki drives, he doesn't get fouled. They drive on the other end and they get the little ticky-tack fouls. So keep it consistent, that's all. Don't be one way or the other."

On Thursday, NBA commissioner David Stern warned primarily coaches -- but players, too -- about publicly criticizing officials. Stern said he's grown tired of meaningless fines and is prepared to levy suspensions. Dampier said he was unaware of Stern's edict.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank indicated Saturday that the league will review Dampier's comments.

The Mavericks, who trail 2-1 in the first-round playoff series, had a free throw edge in their Game 1 win, 34-14. Since then, they have been whistled for 43 fouls to the Spurs' 31.

Dampier played 27 minutes Friday and managed to accrue more fouls (five) than points and rebounds combined (four). He questioned how Spurs forward Tim Duncan can play more than 43 minutes and get whistled for just two fouls.

"It's on us, too," Dampier said. "We've got to take the ball to the basket, make contact, draw the foul and go to the free throw line."

The Spurs were decidedly the more aggressive team in Games 2 and 3. However, Dampier took particular issue Friday with a charge call whistled on Nowitzki by referee Dick Bavetta.

With the score tied at 73 with 9:05 left to go, Nowitzki drove the right baseline and made a strong move to the rim as Spurs forward Matt Bonner positioned himself to take the charge.

"I'm not even going to comment on that foul. What did you think, it was a foul or what?" Dampier said, believing the call should have been a block on Bonner. "All of us thought that. It's funny, though, they get the same call on the other end, it's ridiculous, one of the refs called the foul from half court. It's almost like they can't even see it. But when [Nowitzki] drives, 'Oh, I saw he was outside the circle, it was a charge.' How can you see that? You can't even see that far.

"Hey, we ain't going to make any excuses. We're going to be ready to play the next game, that's all that matters to us. The next one, biggest game of the year."

Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

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