NBA: Grizzlies' Gasol voted top defender

Spanish center Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies was named on Wednesday as the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, outpolling Miami Heat superstar LeBron James to capture the award.

Gasol averaged 1.7 blocked shots and 1.0 steals a game in addition to 14.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists over 80 games this season, leading a Memphis squad that allowed an NBA-low 88.7 points a game in the regular season.

Gasol, the first Grizzlies player to receive the honour, received 30 first-place votes and a total of 212 points from a media panel with James, who has never taken the award, second with 149 points and 18 first-place ballots.

Oklahoma City big man Serge Ibaka, who helped Spain take silver behind the James-led American team at last year's London Olympics, was third on 122 points with Chicago's Joakim Noah fourth on 107.