NEW YORK – The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.
James ranked second in the East in scoring (25.6 ppg) and fifth in assists (7.1 apg) as the Cavaliers went 11-5 for the month (10-4 with James in the lineup). He added 8.2 rebounds and shot 53.8 percent from the field. James was the only player in the NBA to average at least 25.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists in March. He posted seven double-doubles and recorded two triple-doubles. In a 107-87 win over the Brooklyn Nets on March 31, James scored 24 points to move into 12th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (he is now 11th).
Westbrook led the Thunder to an 11-5 record behind averages of 21.7 points, 10.6 assists (third in the NBA) and 8.3 rebounds. His seven triple-doubles in March were the most in a calendar month since Michael Jordan had seven in April 1989. Those performances increased Westbrook’s season total to 16 triple-doubles, the most since Magic Johnson had 17 in 1988-89. Westbrook scored at least 20 points in 11 of 16 games for the month and logged nine games with double-digit assists, including a career-high 19 in a 120-109 win over the Clippers on March 9.
Here is a closer look at March for James and Westbrook:
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
March 5 vs. Boston: Finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in a 120-103 win over the Celtics.
March 21 vs. Denver: Posted a triple-double with 33 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a 124-91 win over the Nuggets.
March 26 @ New York: Logged second triple-double in March with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a 107-93 win over the Knicks.
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
March 9 vs. L.A. Clippers: Finished with 25 points, 19 assists and 11 rebounds in a 120-108 win over the Clippers.
March 22 vs. Houston: Scored 21 points and added 15 assists and 12 rebounds in a 111-107 win over the Rockets.
March 28 @ Toronto: Tallied 26 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a 119-100 win over the Raptors.
Other nominees for the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Atlanta’s Paul Millsap, Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Houston’s James Harden, Miami’s Hassan Whiteside, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Portland’s Damian Lillard, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.
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 ninth 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. It also includes the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month during the regular season. Kia serves as the Official Automotive Partner and Official Luxury Vehicle of the NBA. For more information on the “The Kia NBA Performance Awards,” visit NBA.com/awards.