Associated Press San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was named NBA coach of the year on Tuesday, making him just the third coach in league history to win the Red Auerbach trophy three times in his career. Popovich has received the league’s top coaching honor in two of the last three seasons, joining Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches to win the award three times. In a career full of masterful coaching performances, Popovich may have delivered his best in season No. 18. The Spurs entered the season still thinking about the devastating loss to the Miami Heat in last summer’s classic NBA Finals. Once again thought to be too old to challenge LeBron James and the mighty Heat, the Spurs took the defending champions to seven games but couldn’t quite close it out for the franchise’s fifth NBA title. They showed up to training camp still stinging from that defeat, and Popovich had to get to know a new-look coaching staff after losing longtime assistants Brett Brown and Mike Budenholzer to head coaching jobs in Philadelphia and Atlanta. Then he led the Spurs to a league-best 62-20 record, which gives them home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. And he did it while deftly navigating a season filled with nagging injuries to several key players. Tim Duncan was the only starter to play in at least 70 games.