Paul Pierce Named Player of the Month

NEW YORK, April 4, 2012 – The Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.

Pierce led the Celtics to a 12-5 month (second in the Eastern Conference), averaging 22.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists. Pierce recorded six games of 25 or more points. In 102-95 win at Charlotte on March 26, Pierce recorded season highs of 36 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Pierce played his 1,000th game with the Celtics against Portland on March 9, becoming the 16th player in NBA history to play in 1,000 games for a single franchise.

Durant captured his second consecutive Player of the Month award, leading Oklahoma City to an 11-5 record (second in the Western Conference) in March. Durant ranked second in the league in scoring (27.6 ppg), netting at least 20 points 15 times and eclipsing 30 on five occasions. He added averages of 8.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists, and recorded three double-doubles. In a 149-140 double overtime win against Minnesota on March 23, Durant scored 40 points and grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds. Two nights later, in a 103-87 victory over Miami, Durant had 28 points, nine rebounds and season-high-tying eight assists.

Here is a closer look at the month for Pierce and Durant:

Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics

March 2 vs. New Jersey: Registered 27 points, eight assists and four rebounds in a 107-94 win over the Nets. March 4 vs. New York: Scored 34 points, and added seven rebounds and three assists in a 115-111 overtime victory against the Knicks. March 22 vs. Los Angeles Clippers: Collected 25 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and one steal in a 100-91 win at the Clippers.

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

March 1 @ Orlando: Had 38 points and eight rebounds in a 105-102 win at Orlando. March 21 vs. Los Angeles Clippers: Recorded 32 points, nine rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals in a 114-91 home victory against the Clippers. March 29 vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Registered a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds in a 102-93 win over the Lakers.

Other nominees for Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Atlanta’s Joe Johnson and Josh Smith, Boston’s Kevin Garnett, Minnesota’s Kevin Love, New Jersey’s Deron Williams, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, and San Antonio’s Tony Parker.