Vinny Del Negro has earned the NBA's Western Conference Coach of the Month award for December after leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a perfect 16-0 record, the league announced Wednesday.
The flawless month was part of a 17-game winning streak that was snapped on the first day of 2013 in a 92-78 loss to the Denver Nuggets. That loss was the first since a Nov. 26 game against the New Orleans Hornets, and it ended a winning streak that was the longest since the Boston Celtics went on a 19-game streak in 2008.
Del Negro has been the beneficiary of an upgraded roster. The additions of Jamal Crawford, among others, has given Los Angeles the deepest bench in the NBA, and that greatly contributed to the streak.
The streak has the Clippers in the heated battle atop the Western Conference. Los Angeles (25-7) sits with the Oklahoma City Thunder (24-6) in first place, and the San Antonio Spurs are a half-game behind the Clippers as of Wednesday.
The Atlanta Hawks' Larry Drew earned the honor in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks went 10-5 in December.