Wednesday December 24th, 2014

The Houston Rockets and head coach Kevin McHale have agreed to a three-year contract extension that will pay him nearly $13 million, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports.

McHale, 57, is in his fourth season with the team and was the only coach in the NBA to be working on an expiring contract.

The Rockets have opened the season 20-7 and are in fourth place in the Western Conference. After finishing in the bottom-third of the league in points allowed last season, Houston's defense has improved dramatically this season with much of the credit going to assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff. The Rockets are No. 3 in the league in scoring defense, allowing just 96.3 points per game.

• Spurs' Kawhi Leonard (hand) hopes to play on Christmas

Since acquiring James Harden from the Thunder in 2012, the Rockets have made the playoffs each of the last two seasons. They signed Dwight Howard in 2013 and lost in the first round of the 2014 playoffs to the Portland Trail Blazers.

McHale has a 153-104 record with Houston.

Prior to joining Houston in 2011, McHale was vice president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves from 1995 until 2008, where he was responsible for drafting Kevin Garnett. He also briefly served as interim head coach for the team on two occasions.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1999 following a 13-year career with the Boston Celtics.

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