NewsWire: The Detroit Pistons’ Flip Saunders and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Nate McMillan today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in December.

Saunders guided the Pistons to a 15-2 (.882) record last month as Detroit established a franchise mark for wins in December. Holding eight of their last 10 December opponents to 90 points or less, the Pistons are in the midst of a nine-game winning streak. At 24-7, Detroit enjoys a 9.5-game lead in the Central Division. The Pistons handed the Celtics their first home loss of the season on Dec. 19 when Detroit posted an 87-85 victory in Boston.

McMillan led the Trail Blazers to a 13-2 (.867) record in December, which included 13 straight wins from Dec. 3 through Dec. 30. The 13-game winning streak is the second-longest in Trail Blazers history and tops in the NBA this season. At 18-13, Portland is second in the Northwest Division, trailing Denver by one-half game. The Trail Blazers defeated the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on Dec. 16, their first win in Denver since Feb. 26, 2003.

Other nominees for the Coach of the Month were Atlanta’s Mike Woodson, Boston’s Doc Rivers, Dallas’ Avery Johnson, Golden State’s Don Nelson, New Orleans’ Byron Scott and Philadelphia’s Maurice Cheeks.