POSTED: Apr 3, 2015 8:00 PM ET
NEW YORK — The Chicago Bulls' Nikola Mirotic and the Los Angeles Lakers' Jordan Clarkson today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.
Mirotic led all rookies and the Bulls in scoring (20.8 ppg) for the month while ranking second among rookies in rebounding (7.6 rpg) and blocks (1.2 bpg). He scored 10 or more points 14 times, including eight games with 20-plus points, and finished the month with three double-doubles. Mirotic led the NBA in total fourth-quarter points (136) and fourth-quarter scoring average (9.1), while scoring the highest percentage of his team's fourth-quarter points (36.8), ahead of Cleveland's LeBron James (31.8).
Clarkson ranked third among rookies -- and first on the Lakers -- in scoring (15.8 ppg), second in assists (5.2 apg) and sixth in rebounding (4.8 rpg) in 16 starts. He scored at least 20 points on four occasions and dished out six-plus assists seven times. On March 24 at Oklahoma City, he became the first Lakers rookie since Eddie Jones in 1995 to score 30 points in a game. Clarkson shot 45.2 percent from the field and 84.6 percent from the free throw line, and he totaled 83 assists and only 40 turnovers.
Here is a recap of the month for Mirotic and Clarkson:
Nikola Mirotic, Chicago Bulls
March 5 vs. Oklahoma City: Scored 26 points and added eight rebounds and two blocks in a 108-105 win over the Thunder.
March 20 vs. Toronto: Scored a career-high 29 points to go with 11 rebounds and four blocks in a 108-92 win over the Raptors.
March 23 vs. Charlotte: Finished with 28 points, eight rebounds and two assists in a 98-86 win over the Hornets.
Jordan Clarkson, Los Angeles Lakers
March 24 @ Oklahoma City: Scored a career-high 30 points and added seven assists and three blocks in a 127-117 loss to the Thunder.
March 25 @ Minnesota: Tallied 20 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals in a 101-99 win over the Timberwolves.
March 30 @ Philadelphia: Dished out a career-high 11 assists to go with 26 points, six rebounds and three steals in a 113-111 win over the 76ers.
Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were Brooklyn's Bojan Bogdanovic, Minnesota's Andrew Wiggins, Orlando's Elfrid Payton and Philadelphia's Nerlens Noel.
Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month
The Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month are part of a series of on-court 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. It also includes the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players 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.