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CLEVELAND – Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving was named today as the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, January 21st through Sunday, January 27th.
“This has been a very good week for our team,” Irving said. “We're working hard and making progress. While I'm honored to win the award this week, the most important and exciting thing is our success as a team and continuing our focus to keep getting better every day.”
In three games during the week, Irving averaged an NBA-best 35.7 points on .612 (41-67) shooting, including .545 (6-11) from beyond the arc and .950 (19-20) from the foul line, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.7 steals in 36.7 minutes per game. Irving wins the award for the first time of his career. Cleveland was the only team in the East to go undefeated this past week. Irving was also the only player in the East to have three 30-point games, becoming only the fifth player in NBA history to register three straight 30-point games before his 21st birthday (John Drew, Bernard King, LeBron James and Kevin Durant).
In the fourth quarter this past week, Irving averaged an NBA-high 11.7 points on .750 (12-16) shooting from the field, including a perfect percentage from the foul line (10-10). In the last three minutes of the fourth quarter, he averaged a league-best 8.0 points on .800 (8-10) shooting and a perfect 7-7 from the foul line.
In the 99-98 win at Toronto on Jan. 26, Kyrie Irving hit the game-winning three-pointer with 0.7 seconds remaining and finished with a game-high 32 points (12 in the fourth quarter) on 13-26 (.500) shooting, four rebounds, five assists and one steal in 38 minutes. The Cavs overcame an 11-point deficit as Irving made his fifth game-winner of his career and second this season (Jan. 4 at Charlotte).
Against the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 25 at Quicken Loans Arena, Irving helped the Cavs overcame a 20-point deficit by recording a game-high 35 points (24 in the second half) on 12-17 (.706) shooting, including a perfect 9-9 from the foul line, five rebounds and two steals in 34 minutes. Irving became one of four players this season to score at least 35 points and shoot .700 in a single game in the 113-108 victory (James Harden vs. Atlanta on 11/2/12, Anderson Varejao vs. Brooklyn on 11/13/12 and Paul Pierce vs. Cleveland on 12/19/12).
In a 95-90 win over the Boston Celtics on Jan. 22, Irving notched his second career 40-point game after finishing with a game-high 40 points on 16-24 (.667) shooting from the field, five assists and two steals in 38 minutes. His 16 field goals made were a career-high. Irving scored 19 in the first quarter, which was the most points he has scored in an opening period for his career (previous was 16 points at Los Angeles Clippers on November 5, 2012). He also scored 15 in the fourth quarter. At the age of 20 years, 305 days old, Irving became the youngest player to ever score 40 points in a game against the Celtics.
Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs was named the Western Conference Player of the Week. Other nominees for the Eastern Conference Player of the Week were Atlanta’s Kyle Korver and Josh Smith, Miami’s LeBron James and Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova.