(CBS/AP) — Grizzlies center Marc Gasol has won his first NBA Defensive Player of the Year award after anchoring the league’s stingiest defense.
The NBA announced Wednesday that Gasol received 212 points and 30 first-place votes to edge Miami’s LeBron James, who had 149 points and 18 first-place votes. Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka was third in voting, followed by Bulls center Joakim Noah.
The 7-foot-1 Spaniard averaged 1.7 blocks and 1.0 steals for a Memphis defense that allowed a league-best 88.7 points per game.
Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka was third with 122 points and 14 first-place votes. The 28-year-old Gasol becomes the first Grizzlies player to earn defensive player honors.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)