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Suns’ Marquese Chriss named January Rookie of the Month

Phoenix Suns forward Marquese Chriss was named the KIA NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for January, becoming the fourth player in Suns history to win the award.

Chriss averaged 8.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 20.5 minutes per game in January. He shot 46 percent from the floor and 34.2 percent from three. The Suns went 5-9 in January with Chriss starting all 14 games.

Chriss had five games scoring in double figures during the month, setting a career high with 18 against the Heat on Jan. 3 and then topping it with 20 against the Grizzlies on Jan. 30. He led all rookies in steals with 19 and a rookie-high seven games with multiple steals.

Amar’e Stoudemire is the only player in Suns history to win the award twice, having done so in January and April 2003. Kevin Johnson in April 1988 and Armon Gilliam in January 1988 are the two other players to win it.

Joel Embiid was the East Rookie of the Month for January. Both he and Chriss will play in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star 2017 on Friday, Feb. 17 in New Orleans. Chriss and Suns teammate Devin Booker will play for the USA team.

For the whole season, Chriss is averaging 7.4 points (7th among rookies) on 42.6 percent shooting (6th), 3.4 rebounds (8th), 0.80 steals (7th) and 0.53 blocks (5th).

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