Heat’s LeBron James, Thunder’s Kevin Durant named Kia NBA Players of the Month

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 in March.

James captured his fifth straight Kia NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month award by helping the Heat to a league-best 17-1 record as the team chased history, winning 27 straight games before falling to the Chicago Bulls 101-97 on March 27. The 27 consecutive victories are the second most in NBA history, trailing only the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (33), while the Heat’s 17 wins in a single month established a league record. James averaged 25.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists while shooting 53 percent from the field for the month. He scored at least 20 points 14 times and shot at least 50 percent from the field in 13 contests.

Durant guided Oklahoma City to a 12-5 mark in March, averaging 27.6 points (tops in the NBA), 8.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists while shooting 48 percent from the field and 90 percent from the free throw line. On pace to win his fourth consecutive scoring title, Durant scored 20-plus points 16 times and topped the 30-point plateau on seven occasions. Averaging a career-best 4.4 assists, Durant dished out at least five assists seven times. He also recorded two-plus blocks in eight games.

Here is a closer look at the month for James and Durant:

LeBron James, Miami Heat

March 18 @ Boston: Scored 13 of his team-high 37 points in the fourth quarter as Miami rallied to defeat the Celtics, 105-103.

March 20 @ Cleveland: Had his fourth triple-double this season with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a 98-95 win over the Cavaliers.

March 29 @ New Orleans: Made a season-high seven three-pointers en route to 36 points in a 108-89 win over the Hornets.

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

March 3 @ L.A. Clippers: Tallied 35 points, nine rebounds and four assists in a 108-104 win over the Clippers.

March 17 @ Dallas: Scored 31 points and added nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals in a 107-101 triumph against the Mavericks.

March 24 vs. Portland: Finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals in a 103-83 win over the Trail Blazers.

Other nominees for Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Boston’s Jeff Green, Brooklyn’s Deron Williams, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Indiana’s Roy Hibbert, Miami’s Dwyane Wade, Memphis’ Mike Conley, New York’s J.R. Smith and San Antonio’s Tim Duncan.

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 on-court performance awards called “The Kia NBA Performance Awards.” The series, currently in its sixth 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: Most Valuable Player Award, Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man Award, Most Improved Player Award, and Rookie of the Year.  For the first time, the series also includes the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month during the regular season.  Kia Motors is the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA and the Kia Optima is the league’s Official Vehicle.  For more information on the “The Kia NBA Performance Awards” visit www.NBA.com/awards.