Basketball

Detroit Pistons Coach Larry Brown was fined $7,500 yesterday by the NBA for criticizing officials.

"I expected that," Brown said after practice.

On Monday, Brown said referees tried to antagonize Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace, who was limited to 22 minutes in a Game 3 Eastern Conference semifinal loss against the New Jersey Nets because of foul trouble. . . .

The Phoenix Suns signed Coach Mike D'Antoni to a two-year contract extension, backing up the front office's feeling that the team progressed after he took over for the fired Frank Johnson.

D'Antoni replaced Johnson on Dec. 10, after the team got off to an 8-21 start. The Suns went 21-40 the rest of the way, including beating Utah on the road in their finale -- just enough to avoid last place in the Western Conference. . . .

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is arranging a $150 million loan for the purchase of the New Jersey Nets from YankeeNets LLC, bankers familiar with the transaction said.

The $300 million sale of the Nets to real estate developer Bruce Ratner will probably be approved in June, NBA Commissioner David Stern has said. Ratner plans to move the basketball team to a new stadium in Brooklyn.