NEW YORK, April 1, 2008 – The Atlanta Hawks’ Joe Johnson and the New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month presented by Kia, respectively, for games played in March.

Johnson, who has led the Hawks into playoff contention for the first time since the 1998-99 season, averaging 24.9 points and 7.0 assists in 42.2 minutes in March. Johnson scored 20-or-more points 12 times, including eight straight with 20-plus, and 30-or-more points three times.

Paul led the Hornets to an 11-4 mark, averaging 24.0 points, 13.3 assists and 2.67 steals. Paul collected at least 10 assists in 12 of the Hornets’ 15 games and tallied 199 assists in March. Over the last 10 seasons, just two players have recorded more than 200 assists in one month, Steve Nash (three times) and Deron Williams.

Here is a closer look at the month for Johnson and Paul:

Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks
March 4 vs. Golden State: Recorded 38 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a 135-118 loss to the Warriors.
March 8 vs. Miami: Scored 39 points to go along with eight assists, six rebounds and three steals in a 97-94 win over the Heat.
March 22 vs. Orlando: Tallied 34 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals in a 98-90 win over the Magic.
March 30 vs. New York: Scored 25 points to go along with 13 assists and two steals in a 114-109 victory over the Knicks.

Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets
March 12 vs. San Antonio: Recorded 26 points, 17 assists and three steals in a 100-75 win over the Spurs.
March 14 vs. L.A. Lakers: Netted 27 points, 17 assists and four steals in a 108-98 win over the Lakers.
March 17 vs. Chicago: Tallied 37 points, 13 assists and three steals in a 108-97 victory over the Bulls.
March 25 @ Indiana: Recorded 31 points, 14 assists and three steals in a 114-106 win over the Pacers.

Other nominees for Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month presented by Kia were Boston’s Kevin Garnett, Charlotte’s Jason Richardson, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Detroit’s Chauncey Billups, Houston’s Tracy McGrady, Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala, Phoenix’s Amaré Stoudemire and Utah’s Deron Williams.