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Spoelstra, Popovich named Coaches of the Month for December

Posted Jan 3 2011 3:33PM

NEW YORK, Jan. 3, 2011 -- The Miami Heat's Erik Spoelstra and the San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in December.

Spoelstra led the Heat to a 15-1 (.938) record, setting franchise marks for total wins and road wins (10) in a month. Miami, which went 10-0 on the road, became the first team in NBA history to win 10 straight road games in a calendar month. Averaging a +13.3 point differential, the Heat began December in third place in the Southeast Division, and finished the month in first, 3.5 games ahead of Orlando. Spoelstra, with 116 wins, moved past Stan Van Gundy (112) into third place on the Heat's all-time wins list.

Popovich, the reigning Western Conference Coach of the Month, guided the Spurs to a 13-2 (.867) record in December, including a 10-game winning streak. The Spurs, whose 29-4 record marks the best start in franchise history, are one of only 10 teams in NBA annals to start a season with a record of at least 29-4 through the first 33 games. Pairing the team's 10-game winning streak with a 12-game winning streak earlier in the season, it marks the first time in team history the Spurs have had two double-digit winning streaks in the first 40 games of a season.

Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Boston's Doc Rivers, Dallas' Rick Carlisle, Houston's Rick Adelman, New York's Mike D'Antoni, Oklahoma City's Scott Brooks and Philadelphia's Doug Collins.

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