Forward Elvin Hayes was fined an undisclosed sum yesterday by the Houston Rockets after he criticized Coach Del Harris.

After he was abruptly benched during Saturday's 113-96 loss to Portland, Hayes told a reporter Harris was petty, paranoid and a bad coach.

"According to his contract he is not to do anything detrimental to the best interests of the club," General Manager Ray Patterson said in a statement. "And Elvin's comments to the Houston Chronicle today are certainly not in the best interests of the Rockets."

Hayes, the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history, criticized Harris after being told he would not start last night's game against the New Jersey Nets.

The Rockets beat the Nets, 114-111, on a 15-foot jump shot by guard Allen Leavell, who had a club-record 22 assists and 24 points.

Hayes did not play the first quarter, but Harris started him in the second period.

Hayes said it was "strictly a personal thing" that prompted Harris to bump him from the starting lineup.

"Harris told me to set a pick on a certain play. Well, the way things developed, I didn't get set. It wasn't because I refused. It just didn't get set," he said.

"He's going to show up at the game and tell everybody that he's just moving up the schedule for James Bailey to start and me to go to the bench. But don't believe it. It's a big whitewash."

Harris did not offer immediate comment. The coach received assurances early this season his job was safe despite a poor season. He has a contract through the 1983-84 season, as does Hayes.