By DAVID BRANDT
AP Sports Writer
PHOENIX (AP) — Monty Williams won the NBA Coach of the Year award on Monday after leading the Phoenix Suns to a franchise-record 64 wins during the regular season.
The Suns were the NBA’s best team by far during the regular season, finishing with eight more wins than any other team. The 50-year-old Williams has been the Suns’ coach for three seasons and the team has improved in each of them.
Williams joins Cotton Fitzsimmons (1988-89) and Mike D’Antoni (2004-05) as coaches who have won the award with the Suns.
The runner-up to New York’s Tom Thibodeau last season, Williams was the runaway winner this time. He received 81 of 100 first-place votes from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters, finishing with 458 points.
Memphis’ Taylor Jenkins was second with 17 first-place votes and 270 points. Miami’s Erik Spoelstra and Boston’s Ime Udoka also received a first-place vote.
Phoenix All-Star guards Chris Paul and Devin Booker both posted on social media earlier Monday that Williams had won the award, even though no official announcement has been made.
Said Booker on Twitter: “Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams has been voted the NBA’s COY, book tells sources. A formal announcement is expected later today.”
Paul added: “WD WS…Congrats Coach Mont on Coach of the Year!!” The WD WS reference is a motto for the Suns, which means well done is better than well said.
Phoenix won a franchise-record 18 consecutive games from Oct. 30 to Dec. 2, including a 16-0 record in November. That was tied for the second-most wins in a month without a loss in NBA history, trailing Atlanta’s 17-0 record in January 2015.
Williams led the Suns to the NBA Finals last season, where they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games. The are currently tied 2-2 with the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.