NEW YORK – The New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis 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 October and November.
Porzingis, 20, the fourth pick in NBA Draft 2015 presented by State Farm, ranked third among all rookies in scoring (13.7 ppg) and was second in rebounding (9.3 rpg) and blocked shots (1.89 bpg) for October and November. The 7-3 forward/center from Latvia also tied Towns for the rookie lead in double-doubles with eight, including a 29-point, 11-rebound effort Nov. 17 in a 102-94 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. On Nov. 21, Porzingis finished with 24 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks in a 107-102 win over the Houston Rockets, becoming the first rookie to reach those totals since Tim Duncan in 1998.
Towns, the first pick in NBA Draft 2015 presented by State Farm, ranked second among all rookies in scoring (14.4 ppg) and led first-year players in rebounding (9.4 rpg), blocks (2.18 bpg) and free throw percentage (86.7). The 7-foot center from Kentucky was also third in field goal percentage (52.6). Towns registered double-doubles in six of his first eight games, highlighted by a 28-point, 14-rebound outing in his second career game, a 95-78 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Oct. 30. With that performance, Towns became the first player to record double-doubles in his first two NBA games at age 19 or younger. He turned 20 on Nov. 15.
Here is a recap of the month for Porzingis and Towns:
Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
Nov. 17 vs. Charlotte: Scored a rookie season high of 29 points (on 10-of-17 shooting from the field) and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 102-94 victory over the Hornets.
Nov. 21 @ Houston: Recorded 24 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks in a 107-102 win over the Rockets.
Nov. 23 vs. Miami: Posted 20 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks in a 95-78 loss to the Heat.
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
Oct. 30 @ Denver: Recorded 28 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks in a 95-78 win over the Nuggets.
Nov. 17 @ Miami: Contributed 14 points, 14 rebounds and two steals in a 103-91 win over the Heat.
Nov. 18 @ Orlando: Finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks in a 104-101 overtime loss to the Magic.
Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were Brooklyn’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay, Detroit’s Stanley Johnson, the Los Angeles Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell, Miami’s Justise Winslow and Philadelphia’s T.J. McConnell and Jahlil Okafor.
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.