Spurs' Popovich named Coach of the Year

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich gives direction to his team during the first half...

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich gives direction to his team during the first half against the Phoenix Suns at AT&T Center. (Soobum Im/USA TODAY Sports)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 11:52 AM ET

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich credits his players for rebounding in resilient fashion from what he considers the most devastating defeat in his coaching tenure with the franchise -- Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals -- to post the best record in the league a year later.

Popovich's players and a panel of voters are inclined to give the veteran coach some of that credit.

Popovich is the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2013-14 NBA Coach of the Year. The Spurs finished with a league-best 62-20 (.756) record, which provided them with homecourt advantage throughout the postseason and gave the franchise 15 consecutive seasons with at least 50 victories under Popovich.

San Antonio lost in the 2013 NBA Finals to the Miami Heat, who rallied from a 3-2 series deficit with a furious last-minute comeback in Game 6 and won Game 7 in Miami.

Popovich, who wins his second NBA Coach of the Year award in the past three seasons and third of his career, joins Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches to receive the honor three times.

Phoenix Suns' fist-year coach Jeff Hornacek finished second in the voting with 339 total points, including 37 first-place votes. Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was third.

Popovich totaled 380 points, including 59 first-place votes, from a panel of 124 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote. For the first time in league history, full results of the balloting from individual voters will be posted on NBA.com.

The Spurs were the only team to record 30-plus wins both at home (32-9, .780) and on the road (30-11, .732), and their 38-14 record against conference opponents tied for the best mark in the league (Indiana Pacers). San Antonio led the NBA in points per game differential at plus-7.8, having averaged 105.4 ppg while giving up just 97.6 ppg.

San Antonio recorded a 19-game winning streak -- tied for fifth-longest in NBA history -- between Feb. 26-April 2 and Popovich won 60 games in a season for the fourth time in his career.

Popovich ended the 2013-14 campaign with 967 regular season wins, good for ninth on the all-time list.

The Coach of the Year Award is named after legendary coach and Hall of Famer Red Auerbach who guided the Celtics to nine NBA Championships. In 1996, Auerbach was honored as one of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History as the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary.

ALL-TIME NBA COACH OF THE YEAR WINNERS:

1962-63 - Harry Gallatin, St. Louis

1963-64 - Alex Hannum, San Francisco

1964-65 - Red Auerbach, Boston

1965-66 - Dolph Schayes, Philadelphia

1966-67 - Johnny Kerr, Chicago

1967-68 - Richie Guerin, St. Louis

1968-69 - Gene Shue, Baltimore

1969-70 - Red Holzman, New York

1970-71 - Dick Motta, Chicago

1971-72 - Bill Sharman, Los Angeles

1972-73 - Tom Heinsohn, Boston

1973-74 - Ray Scott, Detroit

1974-75 - Phil Johnson, Kansas City-Omaha

1975-76 - Bill Fitch, Cleveland

1976-77 - Tom Nissalke, Houston

1977-78 - Hubie Brown, Atlanta

1978-79 - Cotton Fitzsimmons, Kansas City

1979-80 - Bill Fitch, Boston

1980-81 - Jack McKinney, Indiana

1981-82 - Gene Shue, Washington

1982-83 - Don Nelson, Milwaukee

1983-84 - Frank Layden, Utah

1984-85 - Don Nelson, Milwaukee

1985-86 - Mike Fratello, Atlanta

1986-87 - Mike Schuler, Portland

1987-88 - Doug Moe, Denver

1988-89 - Cotton Fitzsimmons, Phoenix

1989-90 - Pat Riley, LA Lakers

1990-91 - Don Chaney, Houston

1991-92 - Don Nelson, Golden State

1992-93 - Pat Riley, New York

1993-94 - Lenny Wilkens, Atlanta

1994-95 - Del Harris, Los Angeles Lakers

1995-96 - Phil Jackson, Chicago

1996-97 - Pat Riley, Miami

1997-98 - Larry Bird, Indiana

1998-99 - Mike Dunleavy, Portland

1999-00 - Doc Rivers, Orlando

2000-01 - Larry Brown, Philadelphia

2001-02 - Rick Carlisle, Detroit

2002-03 - Gregg Popovich, San Antonio

2003-04 - Hubie Brown, Memphis

2004-05 - Mike D'Antoni, Phoenix

2005-06 - Avery Johnson, Dallas

2006-07 - Sam Mitchell, Toronto

2007-08 - Byron Scott, New Orleans

2008-09 - Mike Brown, Cleveland

2009-10 - Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City

2010-11 - Tom Thibodeau, Chicago

2011-12 - Gregg Popovich, San Antonio

2012-13 - George Karl, Denver

2013-14 - Gregg Popovich, San Antonio


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