NEW YORK – The Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 20 through Sunday, March 26.
DeRozan paced the league in scoring (33.3 ppg) and added 5.7 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals as the Raptors went 3-0 for the week, extending their winning streak to five and clinching a playoff berth for the fourth straight season. On March 21, he finished with 42 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in a 122-120 overtime victory over the Chicago Bulls. He followed that up with 40 points and six rebounds in a 101-84 win over the Dallas Mavericks on March 25, his seventh 40-point performance of the season.
Harden led the Rockets to a 3-0 week behind averages of 33.0 points (tied for first in the West) and a league-high 13.3 assists. On March 20, he hit the game-winning layup with 2.4 seconds remaining to give the Rockets a 125-124 win over the Denver Nuggets. Harden finished the game with 39 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and four steals. On March 24, he tied a season-high with 17 assists and added 38 points in a 117-107 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Here is a recap of the week for DeRozan and Harden:
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
March 21 vs. Chicago: Recorded 42 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, and two steals in a 122-120 overtime win over the Bulls.
March 23 @ Miami: Shot 14-for-25 from the field and scored 40 points to go with six rebounds and three assists in a 101-84 win over the Heat.
March 25 @ Dallas: Tallied 18 points, six assists and three rebounds in a 94-86 win over the Mavericks.
James Harden, Houston Rockets
March 20 vs. Denver: Collected 39 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds and four steals in a 125-124 victory over the Nuggets.
March 24 vs. New Orleans: Scored 38 points and a tied a season high with 17 assists in a 117-107 win over the Pelicans.
March 26 vs. Oklahoma City: Registered 22 points on 8-for-15 shooting to go with 12 assists and five rebounds in a 137-125 win over the Thunder.
Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Phoenix’s Devin Booker, Portland’s Damian Lillard, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge, Utah’s Rudy Gobert and Washington’s Bradley Beal.