Joel Embiid’s postgame remarks turned out to be costly.

The 76ers star gave referees Scott Foster, Ed Malloy and Rodney Mott golf claps while exiting the Scotiabank Arena floor following Saturday’s 110-102 Game 4 loss to the Toronto Raptors. But it was Embiid’s comments during the postgame press conference that led the league to take exception and fine him $15,000 for public criticism of the officiating.

» READ MORE: Sixers’ Joel Embiid golf claps at Game 4 officials after loss to Raptors: " I admire the job that they did today”

The criticism came after he was asked if he thought a few more fouls should have been called for the Sixers.

“I’m going to take my own advice and not complain about fouls,” he said, “but like I was doing at the end of the game: They did a great job. I admire the job that they did today.

“To me, it felt like they had one job coming in here tonight. And they got it done. Congrats to them, tonight.”

The Sixers took a 3-0 series advantage into Game 4. But the Raptors avoided a sweep with the win, forcing Monday’s Game 5 at the Wells Fargo Center.

Embiid was asked if he was saying the referees’ job was to get this first-round series to Game 5.

» READ MORE: Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet will miss Game 5 vs. Sixers with left hip flexor strain

“I don’t know,” he said with a laugh. “I really don’t know what I’m talking about, but you can figure it out.

“But they did a great job. … Like I said, I’m going to take my own advice, not complain about it. I guess next game they are not going to call it. I’m going to be even more aggressive, offensively and defensively.”

Maxey sixth in Most Improved Player voting

Memphis Grizzlies All-Star Ja Morant was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player on Monday. The third-year point guard received 38 first-place votes and 221 total points. He averaged 27.1 points per game this season, up from 19.1.

Sixers second-year guard Tyrese Maxey was sixth in the voting, with six first-place votes and 52 points. Maxey averaged 17.5 points and 4.3 assists while shooting 42.7% on three-pointers, up from 8.0 points, 2.0 assists, and 30.1% as a rookie.

Rivers played with torn thumb ligament

Asked about the level of pain that Embiid is in, coach Doc Rivers reminded the media that he too played with a torn ligament in his right thumb as an NBA player.

“It’s a painful injury,” Rivers said. “The whole thing is, I did it exactly the same way. I did it the day before Game 1 in the beginning of the playoffs, and you play through it. It’s no fun to play through.

“But the pain comes and goes. I’ll say that with the injury.”

» READ MORE: Has there been dirty play in the Sixers-Raptors series? Both sides seem to think so.

Rivers said the stability of the thumb is the whole key. He thinks it’s more about what Embiid can do with the thumb as opposed to dealing with the pain.

For Rivers, the injury affected his passing the most. The coach thinks that might affect Embiid the same way.

“But other than that, you just go out and play,” Rivers said. “You forget about it, and you go play.”