By Official release
Posted Jan 6 2010 7:15PM
NEW YORK, Jan. 6, 2010 -- The Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month presented by Kia Motors, respectively, for games played during December.
James topped the Eastern Conference in scoring (28.6 ppg), while placing second in assists (7.6 apg), fourth in steals (1.7) and collecting 7.4 rebounds per game. He led the Cavaliers to an NBA-best 14-3 record, a franchise best for December. Against the Sacramento Kings on Dec. 23, James recorded his second triple-double of the year with 34 points, a season-high 16 rebounds and 10 assists. He closed the month with a season-high 48 points against the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 30. James was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Dec. 28, after averaging 28.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 7.3 assists. James was also named Player of the Month for October/November.
Bryant led the NBA in scoring for December with 31.3 points per game, while helping the Lakers to a Western Conference-best 12-3 record. He also finished in the top 10 in the Western Conference in assists (5.0 apg), free throw percentage (.857), steals (1.9 spg) and minutes (40.1 mpg). Bryant recorded two double-doubles, including a 44-point, 11-assist effort -- both season highs -- against the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 29. On Christmas Day, he recorded 35 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in a loss to the Cavaliers. Bryant won back-to-back Western Conference Player of the Week awards (Dec. 21 and 28).
Here is a closer look at the month for James and Bryant:
Dec. 13 @ Oklahoma City: Totaled 44 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals in a 102-89 win over the Thunder.
Dec. 16 @ Philadelphia: Led Cleveland with 36 points, seven assists and six rebounds in a 108-101 win over the 76ers.
Dec. 23 @ Sacramento: Posted his second triple-double of the season with 34 points, a season-high 16 points and 10 assists in a 117-104 overtime win over the Kinds.
Dec. 30 vs. Atlanta: Tallied a season-high 48 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals in a 106-101 win over the Hawks.
Dec. 16 at Milwaukee: Drained his final two points (39 total) at the buzzer to beat the Bucks 107-106.
Dec. 19 @ New Jersey: Scored 29 points, collected a season-high 10 rebounds and handed out five assists in a 103-84 win over the Nets.
Dec. 25 vs. Cleveland: Recorded 35 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in a 102-87 loss to the Cavaliers
Dec. 29 vs. Golden State: Posted season highs in points (44) and assists (11) in a 124-118 Lakers win.
Other nominees for Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month presented by Kia Motors were Boston's Rajon Rondo, Charlotte's Gerald Wallace, Golden State's Monta Ellis, the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Kaman, Memphis' Zach Randolph, Miami's Dwyane Wade, New York's David Lee, Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, Orlando's Dwight Howard, Portland's Brandon Roy, Toronto's Chris Bosh, and Utah's Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams.
The Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month presented by Kia Motors are part of a series of on-court performance awards called "The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors." The series, currently in its third season, is part of a multiyear marketing partnership between Kia Motors America and the NBA, and includes four of the league's most prestigious year-end honors: Most Valuable Player Award, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man Award, and Most Improved Player. Kia Motors is the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA and the all-new Sorento is the league's Official Vehicle. For more information on the "The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors" visit www.NBA.com/performanceawards.
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