NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2006 – The Detroit Pistons’ Flip Saunders and the Dallas Mavericks’ Avery Johnson today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in January.

Saunders led the Pistons to a 13-2 month, including an NBA season-high 11 straight wins, to tie the franchise record for most wins in January. The Pistons led the league in point differential, averaging 99.8 points while holding their opponents to 88.7, and held their opponent under 100 points in 14 out of 15 games last month. Saunders earned the honor of coaching the Eastern Conference All-Stars with a 117-89 win over the Hawks on Jan. 18, clinching the best possible winning percentage in the East through games of Feb. 5.

Johnson, the 2006 Western Conference All-Star head coach, led the Mavericks to a nine-game win streak to finish the month 13-2, recording the most wins in the month of January in team history. The Mavericks went undefeated during a five game road trip (Jan. 18 to Jan. 26) while also recording a 6-0 record at home during the month. With a 103-89 victory over the Jazz on Jan. 28, Johnson surpassed Red Auerbach and Al Cervi (both 50-13) as the fastest coach to 50 wins, doing so in 62 games.

Other nominees for the Coach of the Month award were Denver’s George Karl, Los Angeles Clippers’ Mike Dunleavy, Miami’s Pat Riley, New Orleans/Oklahoma City’s Byron Scott and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.