Jamal Crawford wins Sixth Man

Updated: May 8, 2014, 10:42 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

LOS ANGELES -- Jamal Crawford of the Los Angeles Clippers won the NBA's Sixth Man Award on Thursday, becoming the oldest recipient and the first to do so with different teams.

The 34-year-old guard also was honored as the league's best player off the bench while with Atlanta in 2009-10.

Crawford led the league's reserve players in scoring this season, averaging 18.6 points. He came off the bench in 45 of the 69 games he played in, helping the Clippers to a 57-25 record, the best regular-season mark in team history.

"Buying into your role, not having any hidden agendas," said Crawford on the key to being a great sixth man. "Understanding that just because you come off the bench, doesn't mean you don't have an important role on the team. The bottom line is: Everyone wants to win, and you really truly believe that, if you're the sixth man or the seventh man or the eighth man or whatever, you have to buy into that."

The Clippers had a 31-14 record in games Crawford came off the bench. 

"I actually think he won it because I think voters saw him doing other things for the team -- playing defense, running the team at the point guard position when Chris Paul was out at times," coach Doc Rivers said last week, when ESPN.com's Marc Stein first reported that Crawford had won. "He's been the perfect utility player for a team. He's been awesome."

Crawford set a franchise record for 3-pointers with 161. That surpassed his record from last season, his first in Los Angeles, when he was runner-up for the award.

He received 57 first-place votes and 421 points from a panel of 125 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the U.S. and Canada. He joins Kevin McHale, Ricky Pierce and Detlef Schrempf as two-time winners.

Taj Gibson of Chicago finished second with 395 points and San Antonio's Manu Ginobili was third with 138.

Crawford had his best month in January, scoring in double figures in 15 of 16 games and helping the Clippers go 12-4 that month.

"He's one of the great sixth men of all time," Rivers said.

On Jan. 25, he had 37 points and 11 assists in a win over Toronto -- the most points he scored off the bench in his career and his most with the Clippers. It was the second time this season he had that many points and assists; he totaled those numbers against Sacramento on Nov. 29.

"Honestly, Doc Rivers has changed the way I view basketball," Crawford said. "I was known more of a scorer. If somebody would score on me and I'd be like, 'I'll get it back. I can outscore them, I know I can.' But him and his staff made me so much more of a well-rounded player and they made me appreciate the little things."

Crawford missed 13 games in March and April because of injury.

The Clippers and Oklahoma City are tied 1-1 in their Western Conference semifinal series.

Information from ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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