(Reuters) – Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs was voted NBA Coach of the Year, becoming the third three-time winner of the award, the National Basketball Association announced on Tuesday.
Popovich’s Spurs posted the NBA’s best record at 62-20 to secure homecourt advantage through the postseason as he claimed the coaching honor for the second time in three seasons and joined Don Nelson and Pat Riley as a three-time recipient.
After steering the Spurs to a 15th successive season with 50 or more wins, Popovich totaled 380 points, including 59 first-place votes, from a panel of 124 sportswriters from the United States and Canada.
Phoenix Suns first-year coach Jeff Hornacek was second in the voting with 339 points, including 37 first-place votes, followed by Tom Thibodeau of the Chicago Bulls, who tallied 159 points.
The Spurs, a model of consistency under Popovich, were the only team to record 30-plus wins both at home (32-9) and on the road (30-11) in a spirited bounce back after losing an epic seven-game series against the Miami Heat in last season’s NBA Finals.
San Antonio led the NBA in points per game differential at 7.8, having averaged 105.4 points per game while giving up 97.6, and recorded a 19-game winning streak that tied for fifth-longest ever in the NBA.
Popovich presided over a balanced roster, with French point guard Tony Parker leading the team with a 16.7 scoring average and 29.4 minutes played per game.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)