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Thunder: Billy Donovan named Western Conference Coach of the Month

Billy Donovan, who led the Thunder to an 11-4 record in December, was named Western Conference Coach of the Month on Thursday. 

The Thunder (18-15) closed the month with seven wins in its last eight games. Oklahoma City rose to seventh place in the West. It holds a 3.5-game lead over eighth-place San Antonio. The Thunder and Spurs will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in San Antonio. 

It's the first coach of the month honor for Donovan, who's in his fifth season with the Thunder. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month. 

The Thunder's success in December was highlighted by a 26-point comeback against the Bulls on Dec. 16 and a 24-point comeback against the Grizzlies on Dec. 18. The Thunder became the first team in the last 20 years to overcome back-to-back deficits of at least 24 points.

Related Photos
Oklahoma City head coach Billy Donovan reacts during a time out during the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019.  Oklahoma City loss to Memphis 110-97. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma City head coach Billy Donovan reacts during a time out during the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. Oklahoma City loss to Memphis 110-97. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f78daf71a66a7932ff07199103e7044a.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City head coach Billy Donovan reacts during a time out during the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. Oklahoma City loss to Memphis 110-97. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Oklahoma City head coach Billy Donovan reacts during a time out during the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. Oklahoma City loss to Memphis 110-97. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Oklahoma City head coach Billy Donovan reacts during a time out during the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. Oklahoma City loss to Memphis 110-97. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Joe Mussatto

Joe Mussatto joined The Oklahoman in August 2018 to cover OU football, men’s basketball and softball. He previously covered University of Kentucky football and basketball for SEC Country. Mussatto is from Oklahoma City and lives in Norman. Read more ›

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