Grizzlies’ Ja Morant named Western Conference Rookie of the Month
The NBA today announced that Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant was named the NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played during October and November.
Selected with the second overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Morant averaged 18.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.35 steals in 28.7 minutes while shooting 45.7 percent from the field, 41.0 percent from three-point range and 76.5 percent from the free throw line in 17 appearances (all starts). Morant led all rookies in scoring average, assists per game, 20-point games (9) and double-doubles (3) during the month.
Morant posted 30 points, his highest scoring total of the season thus far, and nine assists in an overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 27, netting 17 points in the fourth quarter, recording a game-saving block at the end of regulation and assisting on the game-winning, buzzer-beating three-pointer in overtime. Morant became the third player in NBA history to record at least 30 points and nine assists in one of his first three career NBA games (Isiah Thomas in 1981, Trae Young in 2018).
The 20-year-old Murray State University product sank the game-winning layup with 0.7 seconds on the clock to cap a 23-point, 11-assist performance (his first career double-double) on Nov. 13 at Charlotte, becoming the youngest NBA player in nearly 10 years to make a game-winning basket on the road with under one second remaining on the clock. He followed with 25 points and eight assists in a Nov. 15 home win over the Utah Jazz.
Morant totaled 26 points, six assists and a career-high five steals on Nov. 23 vs. LA Lakers, becoming the first rookie to collect at least 25 points, five assists and five steals in a game since John Wall did so for the Washington Wizards on Nov. 2, 2010. He then recorded two straight double-doubles on Nov. 25 at Indiana (19 points, 10 assists) and Nov. 27 vs. LA Clippers (20 points, 11 assists), becoming the first player in franchise history to register consecutive point-assist double-doubles.
The South Carolina native shares Rookie of the Month honors with Miami Heat guard Kendrick Nunn, who earned the monthly award for the Eastern Conference. Morant is the first Grizzlies rookie to be named Western Conference Rookie of the Month since Nick Calathes in February 2014.
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