NEW YORK – The Miami Heat’s LeBron James and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played during April.
James helped lead Miami to a 6-1 mark in April, as the Heat rallied to claim the second-seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. James led the NBA in scoring (28.5 ppg) for the month, shooting a robust 55 percent from the field. He also averaged 8.0 assists, 6.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals, closing out his seventh straight season averaging at least 25 points, six rebounds and six assists, joining Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to accomplish this feat. Robertson did it in eight straight seasons from 1960-61 to 1967-68.
Durant helped lead Oklahoma City to its seventh consecutive winning month (5-3), as the Thunder finished with a record of 55-27, good for a Northwest Division title and the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. He averaged 26.8 points and 7.3 rebounds, while leading Oklahoma City to key road wins over Denver and the L.A Lakers. He scored 20-plus points seven times and topped the 30-point mark on three occasions. Durant wrapped up his second consecutive scoring title (27.7 ppg), becoming the youngest player in NBA history to have claimed two scoring crowns. The previous youngest was Bob McAdoo (1974-75).
Here is a closer look at the month for James and Durant:
LeBron James, Miami Heat
April 3 @ Atlanta: Tallied 31 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in a 108-94 victory.
April 8 vs. Indiana: Had 23 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in a 112-103 win.
April 10 vs. Boston: Notched 27 points, seven rebounds and four steals in the Heat’s first win over the Celtics this season.
April 11 @ Atlanta: Posted 34 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in a 98-90 victory.
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
April 5 @ Denver: Tallied 32 points and nine rebounds in a 101-94 victory.
April 8 vs. Denver: Scored 28 points and added seven rebounds, two assists and two steals in a 104-89 win.
April 10 @ L.A. Lakers: Hit for 31 points and grabbed four rebounds in a 120-106 victory.
April 11 @ Sacramento: Scored 28 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists in a 110-82 victory.
Other nominees for Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Chicago’s Derrick Rose, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and New York’s Carmelo Anthony.
The Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month are part of a series of on-court performance awards called “The Kia NBA Performance Awards.” The series, currently in its fourth season, is part of a multiyear marketing partnership between Kia Motors America and the NBA, and includes four of the league’s most prestigious year-end honors: Most Valuable Player Award, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man Award, and Most Improved Player. Kia Motors is the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA and the all-new Kia Optima is the league’s Official Vehicle. For more information on the “The Kia NBA Performance Awards” visit www.NBA.com/awards.