Knicks J.R. Smith, Jazz’s Al Jefferson named NBA Players of the Week

NEW YORK – The New York Knicks’ J.R. Smith and the Utah Jazz’s Al Jefferson today were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 25 through Sunday, March 31.

 Smith led the Knicks to a 4-0 week which included two wins over the Boston Celtics and a win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Smith averaged 29.8 points (second in the league), 7.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals. He tallied three consecutive 30-plus point performances off the bench to open the week, including a season-high 37 on March 29 during a 111-102 win over the Charlotte Bobcats. The last NBA player to score 30-or-more off the bench in three consecutive games was the Milwaukee Bucks’ Ricky Pierce in 1990.

Jefferson led the Jazz to a 4-0 record, which helped Utah pull back into a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference – both teams own 38-36 (.514) records. He averaged 19.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.25 steals and 1.5 blocks. Jefferson’s displayed his versatility with 20 points, seven rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks as the Jazz topped the Brooklyn Nets 116-107 on March 30 to seal the undefeated week.

Here is a recap of the week for Smith and Jefferson:

J.R. Smith, New York Knicks

March 26 @ Boston: Scored 32 points and added seven rebounds and three steals in a 100-85 win over the Celtics.

March 27 vs. Memphis: Collected 35 points, seven rebounds and two assists in a 108-101 win over the Grizzlies.

March 29 vs. Charlotte: Scored a season-high 37 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field and 11-of-12 shooting from the foul line during a 111-102 victory over the Bobcats.

Al Jefferson, Utah Jazz   

March 27 vs. Phoenix: Posted 25 points, nine rebounds and two blocks during a 103-88 win over the Suns.

March 29 @ Portland: Tallied 22 points, eight rebounds and four steals in a 105-95 win over the Trail Blazers.

March 30 vs. Brooklyn: Scored 20 points and added seven rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks during a 116-107 win over the Nets.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Boston’s Jeff Green, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, Indiana’s Roy Hibbert, Memphis’ Mike Conley, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Orlando’s Tobias Harris, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins and San Antonio’s Tim Duncan.