CLEVELAND – The NBA announced on Monday, March 26 that Cavaliers forward LeBron James has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for Week 23 (games played Monday, March 19, through Sunday, March 25). This marks the second consecutive week and the fourth overall time that James has won the award in 2017-18, increasing his career total to an NBA-record 61 Player of the Week awards.
James led the Cavaliers to a perfect 4-0 record last week after averaging 34.8 points (tied for highest in NBA), 8.8 rebounds, 11.0 assists and 1.25 steals in 36.8 minutes over his four games (all starts). He also shot .627 (52-83) from the field, the highest percentage among any NBA player who took at least 20 field goal attempts, and was the only player in the East to make more than 40 field goals after tallying 52 field goals made on the week. James, who posted three double-doubles (one triple-double), was also the only player in the NBA to average more than 20.0 points and 10.0 assists last week. Among Eastern Conference leaders, he ranked first in points per game, first in field goals made (52), second in assists per game (11.0), second in free throws made (29), tied for second in double-doubles (3) and 10th in rebounds per game (8.8). James made at least 11 field goals in all four games last week and tallied at least 27 points, six rebounds and eight assists in each contest. Also during Week 23, James helped the Cavaliers tie their franchise record by scoring 120 points in four straight games (also accomplished Feb. 7-13, 2018).
James opened the week with his 16th triple-double of the season in the Cavs’ 124-117 win over Milwaukee on March 19, finishing with game-highs of 40 points on .552 (16-29) shooting, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in 40 minutes of action. The outing marked his fifth career 40-point triple-double. Versus Toronto on March 21, James tallied a game-high 35 points on a .579 (11-19) clip from the field and .857 (12-14) from the charity stripe, a game-high 17 assists (zero turnovers) and seven rebounds in 39 minutes during Cleveland's 132-129 victory. His 17 assists were the most helpers with no turnovers in James’ career. In the win, James also became the first player in NBA history to record 35+ points, 15+ assists and zero turnovers in any game (including playoffs) since the NBA started recording turnovers in 1977-78. During the Cavs’ 120-95 win over Phoenix on March 23, James recorded 27 points on 11-16 (.689) shooting, nine assists and six rebounds in 29 minutes. His first turnover came late in the third quarter, snapping his streak of 28 consecutive assists without a turnover (longest of his career). James closed out the week by recording his 45th double-double of the season with a game-high 37 points on 14-19 (.737) shooting, 10 rebounds, a game-high eight assists and one steal in 38 minutes of work in Cleveland’s 121-114 win at Brooklyn on March 25.
In 73 games (all starts) this season, James is averaging a team-high 27.5 points (third in NBA) on .550 shooting from the field (13th in NBA), a career-high tying 8.6 rebounds (15th in NBA), a career-high 9.1 assists (second in NBA), 1.51 steals (tied-20th in NBA) and 0.96 blocks (32nd in NBA) in 37.1 minutes per game. The 14-time NBA All-Star also has a career-high 45 double-doubles (tied-fourth in NBA) and a career-high 16 triple-doubles (second in NBA). He leads the league in field goals made (771) and is the only player with at least 25.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 9.0 assists and a .500 field goal percentage this season. James has 2,009 points so far in 2017-18, marking his 10th career 2,000-point season and first since 2013-14. He is just the third player in NBA history to have 10 different seasons with 2,000 points or more, joining Karl Malone (12) and Michael Jordan (11). This is also the eighth time James (630 rebounds, 665 assists) has registered at least 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a season, the most such seasons for any player in NBA history. Only two other players have had more than two 2,000-point, 500-rebound, 500-assist seasons – Oscar Robertson (six) and Larry Bird (three). (Elias Sports Bureau)
San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge won Player of the Week accolades for the Western Conference.