NEW YORK – The Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden were today named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in December.
Lowry ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference in scoring (22.3 ppg) and second assists (8.9 apg), as the Raptors went 11-4 to remain comfortably atop the Atlantic Division. He posted six point-assist double-doubles, the third most in the NBA in December. He scored at least 30 points in three contests, and averaged 25.8 points in nine road games. He was named the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Week after averaging 29.3 points and 8.7 assists over three games from Dec. 1-7. He also scored a career-high 39 points in a 123-104 win at Utah on Dec. 3.
Harden led the NBA in scoring (30.6 ppg) for the month, as the Rockets went 9-5, while dealing with injuries to key players and some roster changes. He led the NBA with eight 30-point games and three 40-point games. He was twice named the Western Conference’s Player of the Week (weeks ending Dec. 14 and Dec. 28). He hit eight three-pointers against Charlotte on Dec. 31, and dished out 14 assists against Atlanta on Dec. 20. Harden ranked 11th in the NBA in assists (7.1 apg) for the month and ninth in the West in steals (1.9 spg).
Here is a closer look at the month for Lowry and Harden:
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
Dec. 3 @ Utah: Scored a career-high 39 points and added five rebounds and four assists in a 123-104 win over the Jazz.
Dec. 27 @ L.A. Clippers: Finished with 25 points, seven assists and three steals in a 110-98 win over the L.A. Clippers.
Dec. 28 @ Denver: Tallied 30 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds in a 116-102 win over the Nuggets.
James Harden, Houston Rockets
Dec. 11 @ Sacramento: Scored 44 points and added eight assists and three steals in a 113-109 win over the Kings.
Dec. 17 @ Denver: Went 18-for-21 from the free throw line en route to 41 points in a 115-111 win over the Nuggets.
Dec. 22 @ Portland: Finished with 44 points, seven assists and five steals in only 32 minutes in a 110-95 win over the Trail Blazers.
Other nominees for Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Memphis’ Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic, Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, San Antonio’s Tim Duncan, and Washington’s John Wall.
Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month
The Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month are part of a series of oncourt performance awards called “The Kia NBA Performance Awards.” The series, currently in its eighth season, is part of a multiyear marketing partnership between Kia Motors America and the NBA, and includes five of the league’s most prestigious year-end honors: Kia Most Valuable Player Award, Kia Defensive Player of the Year, Kia Sixth Man Award, Kia Most Improved Player Award, and Kia Rookie of the Year. The series also includes the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month during the regular season. In addition to continuing to serve as the league’s Official Automotive Partner, Kia is also the Official Luxury Vehicle of the NBA, following the introduction of the brand’s modern and elegant K900 rear-drive luxury sedan. For more information on the “The Kia NBA Performance Awards” visit www.NBA.com/awards.