Jae C. Hong, Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks has been named the NBA's coach of the year after engineering the league's best turnaround.
The Thunder won 27 more games this season than they did a year ago, going 50-32 and earning the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoffs with the NBA's youngest roster.
The improvement came without a significant free agent signing. Instead, the team is primarily the same group of players as last season plus rookies James Harden, Serge Ibaka and Eric Maynor.
Brooks and the Thunder now face another daunting turnaround: an 0-2 deficit in their best-of-seven series against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. Game 3 is Thursday night in Oklahoma City.
Brooks finished with 400 points,and received 71 first-place votes from a voting panel of 123 sports writers and broadcasters.
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan — who has never won the award in his Hall of Fame career — finished fourth with 98 points, including 10 first-place votes.
Milwaukee's Scott Skiles was second with 313 points, including 26 first-place votes, and Portland's Nate McMillan was third with 107 points, including nine first-place votes.
BYNUM EXPECTED TO PLAY: Starting forward Andrew Bynum missed the Los Angeles Lakers' practice Wednesday to get treatment on his sore right Achilles' tendon but he's expected to be in the starting lineup Thursday night for Game 3 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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