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 January. Each player earned the honor for the third consecutive month.
Porzingis ranked fourth among all first-year players in scoring (15.3 ppg) and second in rebounding (7.2 rpg) in January. He also tied Towns for the rookie lead in blocked shots (1.63 bpg) and paced the East’s first-year players in three-point field goal percentage (37.5). Porzingis posted four point-rebound double-doubles, including a 28-point, 11-rebound performance in a 100-99 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Jan. 8. He scored at least 12 points in 13 straight games from Jan. 3-26.
Towns was the only first-year player to average a double-double in January, with 16.9 points (third among all rookies) and 10.9 rebounds (tops among all rookies), and he shot 53.5 percent from the field and 87.2 percent from the free throw line. In the final seven games of the month, Towns recorded six double-doubles and averaged 22.7 points and 12.6 rebounds. On Jan. 20, Towns finished with 27 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks in a 106-94 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the only NBA player to reach those totals in a game this season.
Here is a recap of the month for Porzingis and Towns:
Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
Jan. 8 @ San Antonio: Scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 100-99 loss to the Spurs.
Jan. 12 vs. Boston: Finished with 26 points, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals in a 120-114 victory against the Celtics.
Jan. 18 vs. Philadelphia: Contributed 16 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in a 119-113 win over the 76ers in double overtime.
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
Jan. 20 @ Dallas: Posted 27 points, 17 rebounds, six blocks and three assists in a 106-94 loss to the Mavs.
Jan. 23 vs. Memphis: Shot 6-of-6 from the field en route to 14 points and added nine rebounds and three assists in a 106-101 win over the Grizzlies.
Jan. 29 @ Utah: Scored a career-high 32 points (on 13-of-17 shooting from the field) and recorded 12 rebounds in a 103-90 loss to the Jazz.
Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Emmanuel Mudiay, Detroit’s Stanley Johnson, Indiana’s Myles Turner, the Los Angeles Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell, Philadelphia’s Jahlil Okafor, Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Utah’s Trey Lyles.
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.