Miami Heat

Heat’s Josh Richardson named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month

Josh Richardson, center, is the third player in Miami Heat history to be named NBA Rookie of the Month.
Josh Richardson, center, is the third player in Miami Heat history to be named NBA Rookie of the Month. AP

Josh Richardson’s masterful month of March netted him Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors Tuesday, making him the first Miami Heat rookie since Michael Beasley in April 2009 to earn the honor.

Richardson led all rookies during March in plus/minus (+66), steals per game (1.13), three-point field goals made (33), field-goal percentage (.532) and three-point field goal percentage (.589).

He averaged 12.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 15 games, and his three-point shooting in March (33 of 56) was the second-highest percentage from downtown for a single month in NBA history with at least 50 attempts. Only the Clippers’ Eric Piatkowski (33 of 55) in March 2002 had a better shooting month from beyond the arc.

Richardson scored in double figures eight times, including six of those games with at least 15 points, while shooting better than 50 percent from the field in 10 contests and at least 50 percent from three-point range 11 times, helping the Heat to 10 wins.

In a March 11 victory at Chicago, Richardson posted career highs with points 22, nine field goals and four three-pointers while tying his career high in assists. He actually outscored the Bulls by himself (16 to 15) in the fourth quarter.

Richardson’s 48.4% three-point shooting percentage this season ranks third all time in Heat history behind Jon Sundvold (52.2% in 1988-89) and Jason Kapono (51.4% in 2006-07).

Among Heat rookie three-point shooters, Richardson ranks fifth all time in makes behind Rasual Butler (50), Khalid Reeves (67), Daequan Cook (79) and Mario Chalmers (114).

Richardson becomes only the third Heat rookie ever to be selected Rookie of the Month.

Caron Butler, who was selected four times in 2002-03, is the only other Heat player aside from Beasley to earn the honor.

SAGER REUNION

Dwyane Wade on Monday said he’s looking forward to catching up with longtime TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager when he works the Heat-Bulls game on Thursday.

Sager, 64, whose colorful suits and witty banter with NBA players and coaches has made him a fan favorite, has been battling myeloid leukemia for the past two years and revealed last month the aggressive cancer was no longer in remission.

Sager said doctors have told him if untreated he would only live three to six months. But Sager has said he continues receiving treatment. He also hasn’t stopped working the sidelines.

He was at Monday’s NCAA championship game in Houston and received well wishes from NBA legend Michael Jordan on air at the conclusion of an interview.

“From a health standpoint, this is very unfortunate for him and his family and our game too,” Wade said. “He’s been in and out. Everybody loves the moments he comes back, but when he’s out, there’s a void that can’t be filled. What we’re going to do is enjoy him when we get our opportunities. We’re glad he’s going to be a part of one of our games. And, I can’t wait to crack a joke.

“Everybody always has fun with him and I think he’s always in on the joke. Craig never takes himself too serious. That’s why guys can joke with him about his clothes and things of that nature. It’s good to be around people like that, that aren’t too serious about themselves.”

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