NEW YORK – The Indiana Pacers’ Myles Turner and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in February.
Turner, who earned Rookie of the Month honors for the first time, ranked third among East first-year players in scoring (13.4 ppg), rebounding (6.6 rpg) and minutes (29.8 mpg). He also shot 51.0 percent from the field, the second-best mark for East rookies. Turner recorded his first two career double-doubles during the month and produced a run of nine straight double-digit scoring games. On Feb. 19, Turner scored 16 points and blocked a career-high six shots in a 101-98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, part of a 4-1 stretch for the Pacers.
Towns, the Western Conference winner for the fourth month in a row, led all rookies in scoring (21.1 ppg), rebounding (11.8 rpg) and minutes (34.6 mpg), and ranked third in field goal percentage (53.7) and blocked shots (1.64 bpg). He posted double-doubles in nine of 11 games, including a 30-point, 15-rebound performance in a 112-110 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Feb. 27. Towns scored a career-high 35 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 117-112 victory against the Toronto Raptors on Feb. 10, and he matched his career high with 17 rebounds to go with 26 points in a 112-105 win over the Chicago Bulls on Feb. 6.
Here is a closer look at February for Turner and Towns:
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers
Feb. 1 vs. Cleveland: Notched his first career double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) and added four blocked shots in a 111-106 loss to the Cavaliers.
Feb. 8 vs. L.A. Lakers: Shot 6-of-8 from the field and posted 14 points and 13 rebounds in an 89-87 win over the Lakers.
Feb. 24 vs. New York: Scored 24 points and collected six rebounds in a 108-105 victory against the Knicks.
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
Feb. 3 @ L.A. Clippers: Scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a 108-102 victory against the Clippers.
Feb. 20 vs. New York: Contributed 24 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks in a 103-95 loss to the Knicks.
Feb. 22 vs. Boston: Shot 13-of-22 from the field and finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in a 124-122 win over the Celtics.
Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay and Nikola Jokic, the Los Angeles Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis, Philadelphia’s Jahlil Okafor and Phoenix’s Devin Booker.
Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies 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 ninth 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. Kia serves as the Official Automotive Partner and Official Luxury Vehicle of the NBA. For more information on the “The Kia NBA Performance Awards,” visit NBA.com/awards.