Kawhi Leonard edges Draymond Green for Defensive Player of the Year

The San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard has been named the 2014-15 Defensive Player of the Year, the NBA announced Thursday.
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San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard has been named 2014-15 Defensive Player of the Year, the NBA announced Thursday.

Leonard, 23, led the league with 2.3 steals per game, becoming only the sixth forward to do so since the league began tracking the stat 42 years ago. He also averaged 5.9 defensive rebounds, helping the Spurs finish with the league's third-best defensive rating (99.6 points per 100 possessions).

Leonard appeared in 64 games this season and missed time mid-season with a hand injury. With him on the court, the Spurs posted a defensive rating of 97.1, which would have led the league over an entire season.

The 6'7'' Leonard edged Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, who tallied 45 first-place votes and 317 total points to Leonard's 37 first-place votes and 333 total points.

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Leonard, last season's Finals MVP, became the first Spur to win the award since David Robinson in 1991-92. He is the first wing player to win the award since Metta World Peace in 2003-04.

DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers finished third with 261 points (32 first-place votes).

Full voting results are available here.

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Jeremy Woo