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Raptors' Mitchell is NBA Coach of the Year

April 24, 2007 at 1:16 PM

NEW YORK, April 24 (UPI) -- Toronto Coach Sam Mitchell, who led the Raptors to a league-best 20-game improvement this past season, was voted the NBA Coach of the Year.

Mitchell was listed first on 49 of the 128 votes cast by sportswriters and broadcasters across the United States and Canada. He was second on 43 ballots and third on another 20 for a total of 389 points.

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Utah Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan, with 301 points and 39 first-place votes, was second and Dallas Mavericks Coach Avery Johnson, with 268 points and 28 first-place votes, was third. First-place votes also went to Houston's Jeff Van Gundy and Phoenix's Mike D'Antoni.

Mitchell played 13 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 2002. He was an assistant for two seasons before Toronto hired him as its head coach in June 2004.

The Raptors were 33-49 in his first season and 27-55 in 2005. But in 2006-07, Toronto tied a franchise record with a 47-35 record and won the Atlantic Division title.

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