POSTED: Feb 4, 2015 7:50 PM ET
NEW YORK — The Atlanta Hawks' starting five and the Houston Rockets' James Harden on Wednesday were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in January.
The Hawks finished the best calendar month in NBA history with a 17-0 record, outscoring opponents by an average of 11.9 points and showing the offensive balance that has defined their surge to the top of the East. All five Atlanta starters averaged double figures in scoring, ranging from 12.3 points to 18.3 points. This marks the first time in league history that a team has gone undefeated in a month with at least 10 victories and had all five starters average double digits but none at 20-plus points. Paul Millsap (18.3 ppg in January), Al Horford (17.1 ppg), Jeff Teague (16.6 ppg) and Kyle Korver (13.4 ppg) all started each of the 16 games they appeared in for the month, and DeMarre Carroll (12.3 ppg) started all 14 of his games. Millsap paced the Hawks in rebounding (8.0 rpg), Teague led them in assists (8.5 apg) and steals (1.81 spg), Horford ranked first in blocks (1.38 bpg) and Korver was the team leader in three-point percentage (56.7).
Harden ranked third in the NBA in scoring (25.8 ppg) for the month, as he helped the Rockets to an 11-6 record. Harden added 6.7 apg (fifth in the West) and 2.18 steals (third in the West), and shot 42.6 percent from three-point range. Harden posted three point-assist double-doubles, and scored 30-or-more points on seven occasions. On Jan. 25, Harden showed off his versatility with 37 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals during a 99-87 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.
Here is a closer look at the month for the Atlanta Hawks' starting five and Harden:
Jan. 11 vs. Washington: All scored in double figures, four shot .500 or better from the field, one posted a double-double, and two recorded four steals in a 120-89 win over the Wizards.
Jan. 16 @ Toronto: All scored in double figures and shot .500 or better from the field, and all had multiple assists during a 110-89 win over the Raptors.
Jan. 28 vs. Brooklyn: All scored in double figures, four shot .500 or better from the field, and three posted double-doubles in a 113-102 win over the Nets.
Jan. 15 vs. Oklahoma City: Scored 31 points and added 10 assists and nine rebounds during a 112-101 win over the Thunder.
Jan. 19 vs. Indiana: Poured in 45 points and added seven assists and four steals in a 110-98 win over the Pacers.
Jan. 23 @ Phoenix: Contributed 33 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and three steals during a 113-111 win over the Suns.
Other nominees for Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Cleveland's Kyrie Irving, Detroit's Greg Monroe, Golden State's Klay Thompson, Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul, Memphis' Zach Randolph, Phoenix's Eric Bledsoe, and Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge.
Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month
The Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month are part of a series of oncourt performance awards called "The Kia NBA Performance Awards." The series, currently in its eighth season, is part of a multiyear marketing partnership between Kia Motors America and the NBA, and includes five of the league's most prestigious year-end honors: Kia Most Valuable Player Award, Kia Defensive Player of the Year, Kia Sixth Man Award, Kia Most Improved Player Award, and Kia Rookie of the Year. The series also includes the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month during the regular season. In addition to continuing to serve as the league's Official Automotive Partner, Kia is also the Official Luxury Vehicle of the NBA, following the introduction of the brand's modern and elegant K900 rear-drive luxury sedan. For more information on the "The Kia NBA Performance Awards" visit www.NBA.com/awards.