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Denver Nuggets' star center and coach earn top honors for January

Nikola Jokić and Michael Malone are being recognized for their outstanding work last month.

DENVER — Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić and head coach Michael Malone are both being honored for their outstanding work in January.

The NBA announced Thursday that Jokić has been named the Western Conference Player of the Month for January. It's his first Player of the Month award for the season and the fifth of his career – the most Player of the Month honors in franchise history.

Jokić averaged 24.0 points, 11.6 rebounds, 11.3 assists and 1.20 steals while shooting .677 from the field and .538 from three-point range in 12 games.

The 27-year-old joins Wilt Chamberlain as the only centers in NBA history to record eight or more triple-doubles in a single month.

> Video above: Just how good are the Denver Nuggets this season?

It's just the latest honor for the back-to-back MVP. Last month, Jokić was named a starter on the All-Star team for the third straight season.

Meanwhile, Nuggets head coach was named the Western Conference Coach of the Month for January. 

Malone led the Nuggets to a 12-4 record in January, the best record in the NBA during that span. The Nuggets won a season-high nine straight games from Jan. 5 to Jan. 20 and also won nine consecutive home games as part of their season-long 16-game streak.

It's the second Coach of the Month award of Malone's career. He's the third Nuggets coach to win the award multiple times, joining George Karl and Doug Moe.

Malone and his staff will coach Team LeBron in the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 19. The players on that team will be selected by LeBron James, which means Malone could end up coaching against his star center.

The Nuggets currently sit at 35-16, the best record in the Western Conference.


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