Nuggets’ George Karl Is Named NBA’s Coach of Year for First Time

George Karl of the Denver Nuggets was named the National Basketball Association’s Coach of the Year for the first time after leading his team to a league-best 38-3 home record and a No. 3 playoff seed.

Karl received 62 of a possible 121 first-place votes and a total of 404 points in balloting by sportswriters and broadcasters in the U.S. and Canada, topping runner-up Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat, who received 24 first-place votes and 190 points, the NBA said in a news release.

The New York Knicks’ Mike Woodson was third, named first on six ballots, followed by the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, who received 11 first-place votes.

The Nuggets’ 57-25 regular-season record was the fourth-best in the NBA. As the league’s third-youngest team with an average age of 24.9 years, Denver’s leading scorer, at 16.7 points per game, was Ty Lawson.

The Nuggets were beaten in six games by the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.

Karl is sixth on the NBA’s coaching victories list and the active wins leader with a 1,131-756 record. He has gone 21 straight seasons without a losing mark, tying Phil Jackson for the most in NBA history.

Karl, who turns 62 on May 12, was diagnosed with skin cancer of the head and neck in February 2010. He overcame prostate cancer in 2005.

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