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Aaron Falk and Steve Luhm cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA for The Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune on Twitter - Aaron Falk: @tribjazz, Steve Luhm: @sluhm

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Trey Burke named West's top rookie for December

Los Angeles • Trey Burke's first month as an NBA rookie couldn't have gone much worse. The first-round pick out of Michigan watched from the bench with a fractured finger as his teammates won just once in their first 12 games of the year.

Burke's second month? That went much better.

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On Friday, the NBA named Burke the Western Conference's Rookie of the Month for December. Burke averaged 14.8 points, 5.9 assists and 3.1 rebounds a game during the final month of 2013. He scored in double figures in 13 of the Jazz's 16 contests.

"It's great to have this honor and this award, but I have to make sure I'm staying focused on the No. 1 goal and that's trying to win every night," he said.

Perhaps his best game of the month came on Dec. 18, when he scored 30 points, dished eight assists and grabbed seven rebounds in a win over the Magic.

"The team's doing well as a result of him playing well," Jazz coach Ty Corbin said. "He understands that he still has a lot of work to deb done. He has to continue to grow his game to make us better, and he's willing to work to do those things."

Burke is just the second player in Jazz history to win a monthly rookie honor. Karl Malone was named rookie of the month in December 1985.

Orlando guard Victor Oladipo was named the East's top rookie in December.

— Aaron Falk



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