NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2006 – The Detroit Pistons’ Chauncey Billups and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant today were named Eastern Conference and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in January.



Billups averaged 20.5 points, 8.7 assists and 3.5 rebounds to lead Detroit to a 13-2 record, including 11 consecutive victories. He had three games of 30 or more points and six games of nine or more assists. Billups scored 26 second-half points in a 95-89 win over Memphis on Jan. 27.

Bryant notched the second highest scoring performance (Wilt Chamberlain, 100 points) in NBA history with 81 points on 28-of-46 (.609) shooting on January 22 vs. Toronto. Bryant’s 43.4 ppg is the eighth highest monthly scoring average, with Chamberlain holding the top seven highest monthly marks. He recorded his fourth straight game of 45-plus points with 45 points vs. Indiana on Jan. 9, becoming the first player since Chamberlain (Nov., 1964) to record four consecutive games of 45-plus points and only the third player ever to do so (Elgin Baylor). He also surpassed his previous Lakers franchise record of 43 consecutive free throws when he connected on 62 consecutive free throws during games played from Jan. 11-22.

Here is a recap of the month for Billups and Bryant:

Chauncey Billups, Detroit Pistons
Jan. 3 vs. Orlando: Recorded a season-high 37 points while adding nine assists and two steals in a 108-99 win over the Magic.
Jan. 16 vs. Boston: In a 94-84 win over the Celtics, Billups posted 13 points and 16 assists.
Jan. 24 at Minnesota: Had 27 points and eight assists in a 107-83 win for their eighth in a row.
Jan. 25. vs. Milwaukee: Posted 23 points and 15 rebounds as the Pistons defeated the Bucks 106-102.

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Jan. 6 vs. Philadelphia: Had 48 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals in a 119-93 win over the Sixers.
Jan. 7 at L.A. Clippers: Posted 50 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a 112-109 win over the Clippers.
Jan. 9 vs. Indiana: Recorded 45 points, 10 rebounds and five assists as the Lakers defeated the visiting Pacers 96-90.
Jan. 22 vs. Toronto: Posted a NBA season-high 81 points while adding six rebounds as the Lakers defeated the Raptors 122-104.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Cleveland’s LeBron James, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, Denver’s Carmelo Anthony, Houston’s Tracy McGrady, Los Angeles Clippers Elton Brand, Miami’s Dwyane Wade, Milwaukee's Michael Redd and Washington’s Antawn Jamison.