'First of many': Josh Giddey's 13-year first in NBA accolade

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Josh Giddey has won the NBA's Western Conference Rookie of the Month award.
Australian NBA rookie Josh Giddey has been named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the Oklahoma City Thunder. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Australian NBA rookie Josh Giddey has added another milestone to what is rapidly becoming a hugely impressive debut season in the league.

The 19-year-old was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for November, having averaged 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists during that timespan.

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Giddey became just the third player after LeBron James and LaMelo Ball to register 100 assists and 100 rebounds over their first 20 NBA games as a teenager.

He proved that his early season showings were no fluke, maintaining his averages and starting every game for the rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder.

The former NBL star for the Adelaide 36ers became the first player to win the Rookie of the Month award for OKC since Russell Westbrook in the 2008/09 season, 13 years ago.

Westbrook famously went on to win the NBA MVP in 2017 when he averaged a triple double over the course of the season, the first player to do so since Oscar Robertson in 1961/62.

Giddey also becomes the first Australian player since Ben Simmons to win the Rookie of the Month.

Cleveland Cavaliers big man and Rookie of the Year favourite Evan Mobley won the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month.

The 19-year-old's stats compare favourably with the rest of his rookie class, with Giddey leading all first year players in assists, while he's third in rebounds per game and eighth in points.

Giddey's extraordinary feat comes after he became the youngest player apart from James to register 10 assists in a single game - a feat he achieved in just his fifth game in the NBA.

The Aussie rookie's exquisite vision, slick passing and ambitious post moves have lit up the league this season, despite the Thunder struggling to a 6-15 record.

Fans have continued to be impressed with Giddey's early work in the NBA, despite some criticism that the Thunder had reached for the Ausralian prospect when they picked him seventh in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Many took to social media to congratulate him for the award.

Bucks pip Hornets on LaMelo Ball's career night

The Milwaukee Bucks have overturned an 18-point deficit against the Charlotte Hornets with a Giannis Antetokounmpo go-ahead lay-up with two seconds left in regulation snatching a 127-125 home victory.

Antetokounmpo had 40 points and 12 rebounds and Khris Middleton added 21 points for the Bucks, who have extended their winning streak to eight games.

LaMelo Ball had a career-high 36 points for the Hornets, while Kelly Oubre Jr. added 25 and Miles Bridges 22.

Middleton buried a 3-pointer from the top left to put Milwaukee in front 123-122 with 52 seconds left. Antetokounmpo's lay-in on the Bucks' next possession was negated by an offensive foul.

Gordon Hayward missed a jumper from the top of the key for the Hornets, and Middleton hit two free throws to make it 125-122 with 8.6 seconds remaining.

Ball made a fadeaway 3-pointer - his eighth of the game - with 5.9 seconds left to pull the Hornets even at 125.

LaMelo Ball had a career high 36 points against Milwaukee, but it wasn't enough to stop the Bucks from winning the game in the dying seconds. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
LaMelo Ball had a career high 36 points against Milwaukee, but it wasn't enough to stop the Bucks from winning the game in the dying seconds. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

After a timeout, Jrue Holliday fed Antetokounmpo near the top of the lane for the decisive lay-up.

Elsewhere, Jayson Tatum scored 26 points and pulled in a career-high 16 rebounds to lead the Boston Celtics past the Philadelphia 76ers 88-87 in a bruising eastern conference showdown.

Luka Doncic scored 18 of his team-high 28 points in the first quarter and dished out 14 assists in 27 minutes to power the Dallas Mavericks to a 139-107 rout of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Trae Young made two crucial free throws in the final seconds of the game to help the Atlanta Hawks fend off the Indiana Pacers 114-111 while the Orlando Magic rallied from an early 16-point deficit to defeat Denver Nuggets 108-103 and end their seven-game losing streak.

Former Sydney Kings import Jae'Sean Tate had a night out in the Houston Rockets' 114-110 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder with a career-high 32 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and five blocked shots.

With AAP

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