19 Apr 2011

Howard wins NBA defensive award

10:11 am on 19 April 2011

Orlando Magic centre Dwight Howard has become the first player to win NBA basketball's Defensive Player of the Year for three consecutive seasons.

Hakeem Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo, Dennis Rodman, Sidney Moncrief, Alonzo Mourning and Ben Wallace have each won the honour twice in a row.

Only Wallace and Mutombo, each four-time winners, have captured the award more than Howard.

Howard, a seven-year NBA veteran, ranked second in the league with 14.1 rebounds a game and was fourth in blocked shots with 2.38 a game.

Orlando allowed only 93.5 points a game when Howard played, fourth-best in the league.

Howard received 585 points, including 114 first-place votes, from a North American media panel to easily outpace runner-up Kevin Garnett of Boston with 77 points.

Tyson Chandler of Dallas was third with 70.

Tony Allen of Memphis was fourth on 53 followed by Boston guard Rajon Rondo with 45 and the top player from outside the United States, Australian centre Andrew Bogut, with 32.

Last month, Howard became the youngest player to reach 7,000 career NBA rebounds at age 25, more than a year younger than Wilt Chamberlain's old mark.