Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard is NBA defensive player of the year
Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard was named the NBA's defensive player of the year for the second season in a row after leading the league in both blocks and rebounds in each of the last two years.
Howard is the only player ever to lead the NBA in both categories in two different years, averaging 13.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks a game this season. Bill Walton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon and Ben Wallace are the only other players to lead the league in those categories in the same season.
At age 23 last year, Howard was the youngest player to win the award. He will accept this year's award at a news conference later Tuesday.
"I think it's a well-deserved honor," Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy said. "He's the most impactful defensive player."
Howard led the Magic to the league's second-best record, 59-23, this season after helping Orlando reach the NBA finals last year, losing to the Lakers in five games.
-- Chuck Schilken
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: Dwight Howard walks onto the court against the Bobcats on Sunday. Credit: Doug Benc / Getty Images.