Spurs’ Malaki Branham led all rookies in scoring in February

Malaki Branham has put together a tremendous stretch with the San Antonio Spurs and is emerging as one of the top first-year players in the NBA of late, as a result.

Branham was used sparingly to start the season and even played two games in the G League with the Austin Spurs. He eventually entered the rotation in late November and has since been a key player for head coach Gregg Popovich.

He is fresh off of his best month of the season.

Branham finished off February by averaging 16.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists on 50% shooting from the field in 11 games. He led all rookies in scoring during the month, topping the 16.6 points per game by Paolo Banchero.

The 20th pick reached double figures nine times and produced five 20-point games during the month; he only had one such game prior to February. He has started in each of the last 10 games and is posting 16.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists over that span.

Branham was limited to just four points and three rebounds on Tuesday as the Spurs snapped their 16-game losing streak against the Utah Jazz. He was limited to 21 minutes and was ruled out of returning due to lower back soreness.

Though the injury may have limited Branham, the 19-year-old had a great month of action. The Spurs’ three first-round picks have seemingly shown out at different points of the season, and Branham was the latest to put together a great run.

The team certainly struggled prior to snapping its losing streak on Tuesday but the recent play of Branham and others has been a bright spot. The organization is in a rebuilding phase but looks to have several players to build around in the future, with Branham among them.

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Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire