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Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse smiles during a game against the Washington Wizards in Toronto on Jan. 17, 2020.

Cole Burston/The Canadian Press

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has been named NBA Eastern Conference coach of the month for January.

Nurse guided the Raptors to a 12-3 record last month, including a conference-best 9-1 record on the road.

Toronto ranked fourth in the conference, averaging 113.1 points, and third defensively, holding opponents to 106.1 points. The team also led the East, averaging 12.8 three-pointers a game and 10 steals.

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The Raptors won 10 in a row to end the month, which catapulted Toronto into second place in the conference standings. The Raptors won by an average margin of 11 points a game during the streak, which included six road contests.

Toronto matched a franchise record in a Jan. 17 win over Washington by scoring 140 points.

Because the Raptors are sitting in second in the East, Nurse will coach Team Giannis at the 2020 NBA all-star game in Chicago on Feb. 16. Milwaukee leads the conference, but Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer coached in last year’s all-star game, and coaches can’t appear in two such games in a row.

This marks the third time Nurse has earned the honour over all and second time this season. He was also named coach of the month for games played in October and November.

Memphis head coach Taylor Jenkins won the Western Conference coach of the month award.

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