Kobe, LeBron Named NBA Players of the Month
The Miami Heat’s LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant on Friday were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in December and January.
James led Miami to a 16-5 (.762) record for games played in December and January, matching the best start to a season in franchise history, behind averages of 29.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists. A three-time Eastern Conference player of the week so far this season, James ranks second in the NBA in scoring, fourth in field goal percentage (.551), ninth in minutes (37.4 mpg) and 10th in steals (1.8 spg). Appearing in 20 of Miami’s 21 games, James led the team in scoring 16 times, tallying 25-plus points 16 times and 30-plus points on 11 occasions.
Bryant averaged a league-high 30.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists for games played in December and January, helping the Lakers to a 13-9 record (.591). On Jan. 1 at Denver, Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to score 28,000 points. On Jan. 10 in Phoenix, Bryant scored an NBA season-high 48 points, kicking off four straight 40-plus-point games over a five-night span. Bryant passed Jerry West as the Lakers franchise leader in free throws made on Jan. 28 at Milwaukee and passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the franchise leader in field goals made on Jan. 29 at Minnesota.