NEW YORK, Jan. 2, 2008 – The Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard and the New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul today were named Eastern Conference and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in December.

Howard averaged 21.7 points on .598 shooting, a league-high 16.1 rebounds and 2.87 blocks in winning his second consecutive monthly award. Howard recorded 14 double-doubles in December, as the Magic went 8-7. The center had five games of 20-plus rebounds, including a season-high 23 on Dec. 3 at Golden State in a 123-117 overtime win.

Paul averaged 24.5 points, 10.4 assists and a league-high 3.0 steals in guiding the Hornets to a Southwest Division-best 9-5 mark. Paul’s month included two 40-plus-point performances and three games with at least 15 assists. With season averages of 21.5 points, 10.2 assists and 3.0 steals, Paul is attempting to become the first player to average at least 20.0 points, 10.0 assists and 3.0 steals for a season.

Here is a recap of the month for Howard and Paul:

Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
Dec. 3 @ Golden State: Had a season-high 23 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks in a 123-117 overtime win.
Dec. 15 vs. Memphis: Had a 31-point, 20-rebound performance in a 123-119 loss.
Dec. 28 @ Miami: Recorded 29 points and 21 rebounds in a 121-114 overtime win.
Dec. 31 @ Chicago: Scored 17 points and grabbed 21 boards in a 112-110 overtime win.

Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets
Dec. 1 vs. Dallas: Had 33 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds in a 112-108 win.
Dec. 7 vs. Memphis: Scored 43 points to go along with nine assists and four steals in a 118-116 victory.
Dec. 26 at Memphis: Had 40 points, nine assists and five steals in a 116-98 win.
Dec. 31 vs. Toronto: Recorded 27 points, 16 assists and seven rebounds in a 97-92 loss.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Atlanta’s Joe Johnson, Boston’s Paul Pierce, Charlotte’s Gerald Wallace, Denver’s Allen Iverson, Detroit’s Richard Hamilton, Houston’s Yao Ming, Philadelphia’s Andre Miller, Portland’s Brandon Roy, and Toronto’s Chris Bosh.