POSTED: Jan 2, 2013 7:47 PM ET
NEW YORK — The Miami Heat's LeBron James and the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in December.
James captured his second straight Kia NBA Eastern Player of the Month award by ranking second in the conference in scoring (27.5 ppg) and steals (2.00 spg), fourth in field goal percentage (.555), fifth in assists (7.5 apg), and 12th in rebounds (8.1 rpg). On Christmas Day, James recorded 29 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and two steals as Miami defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-97.
Paul guided the Clippers to a 16-0 record -- the best monthly mark in franchise history -- in which they won their games by an average of 15.8 points. Paul paced the league in steals (2.63 spg) and led the Western Conference in assists (9.3 apg) while adding 16.0 points and 3.0 rebounds. Paul had seven point-assist double-doubles, including a 24-point, 13-assist, five-steal performance in a 97-85 victory over the Sacramento Kings Dec. 21. The Clippers joined the 1995-96 Spurs and 1971-72 Lakers as the only teams in NBA history to complete a calendar month with a record of 16-0.
Kia Awards Winner: LeBron James
Here is a closer look at the month for James and Paul:
LeBron James, Miami Heat
• Dec. 4 @ Washington: Notched a 26-point, 13-rebound, 11-assist triple-double, to go along with three steals and two blocks in a 105-101 loss at Washington
• Dec. 10 vs Atlanta: Contributed 27 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals in a 101-92 victory over the Hawks.
• Dec. 31 @ Orlando: Tallied 36 points, 11 assists and eight boards in a 112-110 overtime win at the Magic.
Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers
• Dec. 5 vs. Dallas: Had 13 assists and five steals to go along with 14 points in a 112-90 win over the Mavericks.
• Dec. 23 @ Phoenix: Scored 17 points, dished 13 assists and recorded five steals, while committing only two turnovers, in a 103-77 win at Phoenix.
• Dec. 28 @ Utah: Scored 29 points and added six assists in a 116-114 victory at the Jazz.
Other nominees for Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Atlanta's Al Horford and Josh Smith, Houston's James Harden, Golden State's David Lee, the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, Memphis' Zach Randolph, New York's Carmelo Anthony; Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge, and San Antonio's Tony Parker.
Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month
The Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month are part of a series of on-court performance awards called "The Kia NBA Performance Awards." The series, currently in its sixth season, is part of a multiyear marketing partnership between Kia Motors America and the NBA, and includes five of the league's most prestigious year-end honors: Most Valuable Player Award, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man Award, Most Improved Player Award, and Rookie of the Year. For the first time, the series also includes the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month during the regular season. Kia Motors is the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA and the Kia Optima is the league's Official Vehicle. For more information on the "The Kia NBA Performance Awards" visit www.NBA.com/awards.