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Pierce, Sloan Honored By NBA


Boston Celtics rookie forward Paul Pierce, and Utah coach Jerry Sloan, were today honored by the NBA as the best in their respective categories for the month of February.

Pierce was named Rookie of the Month for leading all first-year players in scoring and the entire league in steals. The 10th selection in the 1998 draft helped lead the Celtics to a 6-5 mark during the month, averaging 20.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.73 steals and 2.4 assists in the 11 games.

Sloan, meanwhile, guided the Utah Jazz to a league-best 11-2 record in the season's opening month.

The Jazz won all six of their home games and went 5-2 on the road to end the month with a three-game lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Midwest Division. During the month, Utah led the NBA in field-goal percentage (47.1) and ranked second in assists (24.38) and ninth in points (94.5).

Sloan recorded his 650th victory Sunday in a 101-87 win over San Antonio and has an all-time winning percentage of .630 (650-381), good for sixth best in league history. He has the longest tenure in the league with any one team, coaching 816 games for the Jazz.

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