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Tyler Ulis named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for April

Phoenix Suns guard Tyler Ulis advances the ball up court against the Houston Rockets during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 2, 2017, in Phoenix. The Rockets defeated the Suns 123-116. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

Phoenix Suns guard Tyler Ulis excelled once inserted into the starting lineup, and on Friday was named the Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for April.

A second-round pick out of Kentucky, Ulis averaged a rookie-best 20.7 points and 6.8 assists per game over the six games played. He shot .485 from the field and .370 from three-point range while also chipping in 3.8 rebounds per outing. Ulis is the first rookie since Damian Lillard, in March 2013, to average at least that many points and assists in a single calendar month.

The 34th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft is the second Sun to earn a rookie honor, as Marquese Chriss was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for January. This is the first time since 1987-88 the Suns have had two winners in the same season, when Armen Gilliam (January) and Kevin Johnson (April) earned the nods.

Ulis, who averaged 7.3 points and 3.7 assists in 61 games but saw those numbers increase to 16.1 points and 8.5 assists as a starter, is the fifth Sun all-time to win a monthly rookie honor.

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