(Reuters) – Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic, whose breakout campaign helped his team to a 23-win improvement, was named the National Basketball Association’s most improved player, the league said yesterday.
Dragic received 408 of a possible 1,134 points, including 65 first-place votes, from a panel of 126 sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada.
Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers (158 points, 13 first-place votes) finished second while Anthony Davis (155 points, 16 first-place votes) of the New Orleans Pelicans was third.
Dragic, who entered the 2013-14 campaign with a career scoring average of 9.5 points, averaged a career-best 20.3 points to go with 5.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds.
The 27-year-old Slovenian was the only player in the NBA to shoot at least 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range, both career highs.
Dragic’s performance keyed a Suns’ turnaround on the way to a 48-34 record that left them one game out of the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.