SAN ANTONIO, April 28 (UPI) -- The San Antonio Spurs have their first-ever NBA Coach of the Year.
Gregg Popovich earned that distinction Monday after guiding the Spurs to a 60-22 record and their third straight Midwest Division title.
The Spurs matched Dallas for the league's best record and earned the top seed in the playoffs. San Antonio was 41-9 after Jan. 1 and became the first team in NBA history to win 18 of its last 20 road games.
"The reason this has happened is I have a staff that is pretty incredible," Popovich said. "They have done a great job all year long."
San Antonio's best-of-seven first round Western Conference series with the Phoenix Suns is tied 2-2. The Suns evened the series with an 86-84 win on Sunday.
Popovich kept the Spurs on track despite numerous injuries to center David Robinson, who was limited to 64 games. This year also saw the emergence of second-year guard Tony Parker, who averaged 15.5 points per game, and strong play from guard Emanuel Ginobili, who spent the last five seasons playing in Argentina.
Popovich replaced Bob Hill as coach of the Spurs in December 1996, and owns a 339-185 regular season record. He guided the Spurs to their only NBA title in 1999.