NBA - Knicks' Chandler named Defensive Player of the Year

NEW YORK Thu May 3, 2012 5:02am IST

New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler dunks the ball in the third quarter of play against the Miami Heat during Game 2 of their first round NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff in Miami, Florida April 30, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity

New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler dunks the ball in the third quarter of play against the Miami Heat during Game 2 of their first round NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff in Miami, Florida April 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Innerarity

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday, the first player from the storied franchise to win the award.

Chandler received 311 points, including 45 first-place votes, to beat out Oklahoma City Thunder swingman Serge Ibaka, who finished second with 294 points.

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, who had won the award each of the previous three seasons, finished third with 186 points.

With the 7-foot-1 (2.16m), 240-pound (108.9kg) Chandler patrolling the paint, the Knicks ranked second in opponent turnovers per game (17.0), 10th in opponent field goal percentage (.442), and 11th in opponent scoring (94.7).

"To me, it's a team thing," Chandler told a news conference. "I'm here to accept this as an individual but it's definitely a team award."

Chandler, an 11-year NBA veteran who played last season with the champion Dallas Mavericks, averaged 11.3 points and 9.9 rebounds this season.

The award was chosen by a panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada.

(Reporting by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)

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