Phil Jackson, Tom Thibodeau honored

Phil Jackson was named as the Western Conference Coach of the Month, the NBA announced Friday, after the Los Angeles Lakers finished March on an eight-game winning streak to improve their record to 12-1 since the calendar flipped from February.

The Lakers currently trail the San Antonio Spurs by 2½ games for the top spot in the West after a month that featured a win against the Spurs, two wins against the Dallas Mavericks and a win against the Portland Trail Blazers on March 20 that clinched the Lakers' fourth straight Pacific Division title.

Los Angeles plays in Utah on Friday night.

Chicago Bulls first-year head coach Tom Thibodeau received the honor for the Eastern Conference, guiding his team to a 13-3 record in March as the Bulls overtook Boston and Miami for the No. 1 seed in the East.

Jackson edged Denver's George Karl, Houston's Rick Adelman, Memphis' Lionel Hollins and Oklahoma City's Scott Brooks for the distinction, while the other nominees in the East included Miami's Erik Spoelstra, Orlando's Stan Van Gundy and Philadelphia's Doug Collins.

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.