NEW YORK, April 20, 2006 –
The Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard
and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant
today were named Eastern Conference and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in April.
Averaging 18.1 points on .559 shooting and a league-high 14.0 rebounds and recording an NBA-best seven double-doubles, Howard led the Magic to a 7-2 record and their best month of the season. In a 102-97 win over the Sixers on April 15, he registered a season-high 28 points and a career-high and NBA season-high 26 rebounds.
Behind Bryant’s averages of a league-high 41.6 points on .509 shooting, 5.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.3 steals, the Lakers went 6-2 and won their last five games to secure a spot in the playoffs. Bryant scored more than 30 points in every contest and recorded his fifth and sixth 50-point games of the season. Bryant captured the 2005-06 scoring title with 35.4 points per game and became the first player since Michael Jordan in 1989-90 to amass 2,700 points in a single season with 2,832 total points.
Here is a recap of the month for Howard and Bryant:
Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
April 10 vs. Atlanta: Had 20 points, 16 rebounds and a career-high six assists to beat the Hawks 105-88.
April 13 at San Antonio: Tallied 22 points and 13 rebounds in a 92-80 road win over the Spurs.
April 15 vs. Philadelphia: Posted 28 points on 9-of-14 shooting and 26 boards to defeat the Sixers 102-97.
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
April 2 vs. Houston: Tallied 43 points on .594 shooting, while handing out six assists to beat the Rockets 104-88.
April 14 vs. Portland: Had 50 points on 17-of-28 shooting, six rebounds and five steals to beat the Trail Blazers 110-99.
April 16 vs. Phoenix: Posted 43 points, including 20 points from the line, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals in a 109-89 win over the Suns.
Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Chicago’s Ben Gordon and Andres Nocioni, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki and Phoenix’s Shawn Marion.