LOS ANGELES (AP) -David Stern came to the defense of his beleaguered referees Thursday, saying they don't manipulate games or engage in other criminal activity.
Speaking to the media for the third time at an NBA finals that has been increasingly overshadowed by the Tim Donaghy scandal, the commissioner said Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals might have been officiated poorly, but honestly and not illegally.
Donaghy claimed this week in a court filing that two ``company men'' worked that game, in which the Los Angeles Lakers used a huge free-throw advantage in the fourth quarter to avoid elimination against Sacramento.

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