Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) defends as Brooklyn Nets guard Goran Dragic, of Slovenia, right, looks for an opening in the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round Eastern Conference playoff series, Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Boston. The Celtics won 115-114. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
NEW YORK — Boston’s Marcus Smart is the first guard in over a quarter-century to win the NBA defensive player of the year award.
NBA officials announced the award on Monday. The last guard to win this honor was Seattle’s Gary Payton in 1995-96.
Smart helped the Celtics lead the NBA in defensive rating and scoring defense (104.6) while holding opponents to a league-low field-goal percentage (.434) and 3-point percentage (.339). The 28-year-old ranked seventh in the NBA in steals per game (1.68) and tied for sixth in total steals (119).
Smart received 257 total points and earned 37 first-place votes from a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges finished second with 202 points and 22 first-place votes.
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who had won the award in 2018, 2019 and 2021, finished third with 136 points and 12 first-place votes.
Smart, who started each of the 71 regular-season games he played, tied for fourth in loose balls recovered (75) and tied for 10th in deflections (106) and charges drawn (16). He had a career-high 3.2 defensive rebounds per game.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo won defensive player of the year in 2020.
Players received five points for each first-place vote, three for each second-place vote and one for each third-place vote.
NICOSIA - The trial of a Turkish-Cypriot lawyer, Akan Kursat, accused of brokering deals to sell property still owned by Greek-Cypriots on the occupied side of the island was suspended after the key witness died, Attorney-General George Savvides defending the move.
FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) — The federal judge overseeing the classified documents prosecution of Donald Trump is expected to set a trial date on Friday, a crucial decision that could affect whether the former president and leading Republican candidate faces a jury this year on charges that he hoarded top secret records and hid them from government investigators.
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