Grizzlies’ Ja Morant named Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for January
The NBA today announced that Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant was named the Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in January. Morant, who last month became the first rookie in franchise history to win the award in consecutive months, now has tied Pau Gasol (2001-02) for the franchise record with his third monthly accolade.
Morant (6-3, 175) guided the Grizzlies to an 11-4 record in January, tied for the best record in the Western Conference. He led all rookies with 17.5 points and 8.3 assists while shooting 54.2 percent from the field, becoming the first rookie this century to record a month with at least 17 points and eight assists per game while shooting at least 50 percent from the field.
As a team, the Grizzlies paced the NBA with 28.6 assists per game in January and are on pace to set a new single-season franchise record in the category with a league-leading 27.6 assists per contest.
The 20-year-old posted four 20-point performances and four double-doubles during the month, registering 22 points and a single-game franchise rookie record with 14 assists on Jan. 10 vs. San Antonio. Morant also tallied a January personal-best 26 points (10-11 FG) and eight assists on Jan. 14 vs. Houston, becoming the first rookie in NBA history to record at least 25 points and eight assists while shooting at least 90 percent from the field. He also notched a +42 plus-minus rating in a Jan. 29 road win over New York.
Selected with the second overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft following his sophomore year at Murray State University, Morant is averaging 17.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, a team-high 7.1 assists and 1.05 steals in 29.7 minutes in 44 games (all starts) this season. The Dalzell, S.C. native was selected by NBA assistant coaches on Jan. 31 to play in the 2020 NBA Rising Stars on Feb. 14 at the United Center in Chicago.
Miami Heat guard Kendrick Nunn also earned his third straight monthly honor for the Eastern Conference.
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