The NBA is giving a Gasol his due. But it’s not the one in Los Angeles
Memphis 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.
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.
But the good news does not overshadow the bad situation Memphis is in.
The Grizzlies are back home in Memphis down 0-2 against the Clippers hoping the change in scenery helps them force this first-round series into a return trip to Los Angeles.
Coach Lionel Hollins is preaching that it isn't do or die time.
"We've got to come here and take care of business," Hollins said Tuesday. "We have two games at home. We almost got one out in L.A., but it wasn't to be. We have to come home and try to win two and hold court."
The Grizzlies rallied from 12 down in the fourth quarter Monday night and tied it up before Chris Paul scored the winning basket with a one-tenth of a second on the clock for a 93-91 win.
Game 3 is Thursday night in Memphis.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.