Ravell Call, Deseret Deseret News
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is greeted by Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, right, forward Paul George, left, and forward Carmelo Anthony following NBA basketball in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017.

SALT LAKE CITY — After a December that saw him become the Utah Jazz’s leading scorer, rookie Donovan Mitchell has earned a special recognition from the NBA.

On Thursday Mitchell was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for December after averaging 18.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists over 13 contests. He also became the Jazz’s go-to guy down the stretch of close games, a notable responsibility for a first-year player.

The Louisville product who was taken 13th overall in last June’s draft, then traded to Utah for the 24th pick and Trey Lyles, becomes the third Jazz rookie to win the award since 2014. Trey Burke and Rodney Hood received the honor during their first campaigns.

“It’s been fun. I’m not going to lie and say it hasn’t been fun,” Mitchell said of December. “It’s been incredible, but it’s so much that I’m doing now that come February that won’t be there. So, I've just got to be able to continue to improve and make adjustments because they’re going to play me differently. They’re going to guard me differently and make the certain reads.”