SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) - Donovan Mitchell is having a historic rookie season for the Utah Jazz, and the NBA has taken notice.
The NBA announced Thursday that Mitchell has been named the NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played during December.
The 6-3, 215-pound guard averaged 23.1 points per game (best among rookies), 3.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 34.3 minutes per game during the month. Mitchell totaled 300 points, 49 assists, 44 rebounds and 23 steals during the month, becoming only the fourth rookie since 1963-64 to tally at least 300 points, 40 rebounds, 40 assists and 20 steals during the month of December (LeBron James – 2003-04, Ron Harper – 1986-87 and Michael Jordan – 1984-85).
The Louisville product notched seven games with 25-plus points for the month, becoming the first rookie to do so since David Robinson had eight such performances in December 1989. He also led all rookies in fourth quarter scoring at 9.1 fourth quarter points per game in December and was tied for third among all players. Mitchell’s Jazz single-game rookie record, 41 points against the Pelicans on Dec. 1, was the first 40-plus point game by a first-year player since Blake Griffin in 2010-11.
Mitchell is averaging an NBA rookie-best 18.3 points, along with 3.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 36 games so far this season. He has connected on 79 threes this season, the most by any rookie in the NBA, and is averaging the second most points by a rookie in team history (Darrell Griffith, 20.6 ppg – 1980-81).
The 21-year-old becomes the fourth player in franchise history to win the monthly rookie honor, joining Karl Malone (December 1985), Trey Burke (December 2013, January 2014 and April 2014) and teammate Rodney Hood (April 2015). The award, which has been given monthly since the 1981-82 season, was originally the NBA Rookie of the Month before splitting into Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month in 2001-02.
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