SPOELSTRA & KARL COACHES OF THE MONTH
+ SMITH & JEFFERSON PLAYERS OF THE
The Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra and the Denver Nuggets’ George Karl were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in March - The New York Knicks’ J.R. Smith and the Utah Jazz’s Al Jefferson were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 25 through Sunday, March 31 - THIS DAY IN THE NBA
NEW YORK, NY USA
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
COACHES OF THE MONTH
The Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra and the Denver Nuggets’ George Karl were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.
Spoelstra led Miami to a league-best 17-1 (.944) record in March, which included 15 straight wins to open the month that pushed the Heat’s winning streak to 27 straight games. The Chicago Bulls halted Miami’s run with a 101-97 win at United Center on March 27, leaving the Heat with the second longest streak in league history, six games shy of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 33-game streak during the 1971-72 campaign. Spoelstra, who reached 250 wins faster than any head coach in Heat history on March 25 by virtue of Miami’s 108-94 win over the Magic, has the Heat atop the NBA standings at 58-15 (.795) entering the final month of the regular season.
Karl led Denver to a Western Conference-best 13-2 (.867) mark in March, which included wins in the first 12 games of the month, feeding a 15-game winning streak that began on Feb. 23. The Nuggets’ 110-86 loss to the New Orleans Hornets on March 25 ended the overall winning streak, although Denver is still riding an 18-game winning streak at home, and owns an NBA-best 33-3 home record. At 50-24 (.676), the Nuggets own the third-best record in the Western Conference entering April.
Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Dallas’ Rick Carlisle, Indiana’s Frank Vogel, Memphis’ Lionel Hollins and New York’s Mike Woodson.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
The New York Knicks’ J.R. Smith and the Utah Jazz’s Al Jefferson were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 25 through Sunday, March 31.
Smith led the Knicks to a 4-0 week which included two wins over the Boston Celtics and a win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Smith averaged 29.8 points (second in the league), 7.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals. He tallied three consecutive 30-plus point performances off the bench to open the week, including a season-high 37 on March 29 during a 111-102 win over the Charlotte Bobcats. The last NBA player to score 30-or-more off the bench in three consecutive games was the Milwaukee Bucks’ Ricky Pierce in 1990.
Jefferson led the Jazz to a 4-0 record, which helped Utah pull back into a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference – both teams own 38-36 (.514) records. He averaged 19.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.25 steals and 1.5 blocks. Jefferson’s displayed his versatility with 20 points, seven rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks as the Jazz topped the Brooklyn Nets 116-107 on March 30 to seal the undefeated week.
Here is a recap of the week for Smith and Jefferson:
J.R. Smith, New York Knicks
March 26 @ Boston: Scored 32 points and added seven rebounds and three steals in a 100-85 win over the Celtics.
March 27 vs. Memphis: Collected 35 points, seven rebounds and two assists in a 108-101 win over the Grizzlies.
March 29 vs. Charlotte: Scored a season-high 37 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field and 11-of-12 shooting from the foul line during a 111-102 victory over the Bobcats.
Al Jefferson, Utah Jazz
March 27 vs. Phoenix: Posted 25 points, nine rebounds and two blocks during a 103-88 win over the Suns.
March 29 @ Portland: Tallied 22 points, eight rebounds and four steals in a 105-95 win over the Trail Blazers.
March 30 vs. Brooklyn: Scored 20 points and added seven rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks during a 116-107 win over the Nets.
Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Boston’s Jeff Green, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, Indiana’s Roy Hibbert, Memphis’ Mike Conley, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Orlando’s Tobias Harris, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins and San Antonio’s Tim Duncan.
THIS DAY IN THE NBA
April 2, 1975 Buffalo’s Bob McAdoo was awarded MVP honors for the 1974-75 season. McAdoo led the NBA with 2,831 points (34.5 ppg).
April 2, 1993 Cleveland’s Mark Price had his consecutive free throw streak end at 77, during a 114-113 loss at Charlotte. That fell one short of Calvin Murphy’s NBA record of 78 straight free throws, which was later broken by Minnesota’s Micheal Williams, who put together a streak of 97 at the close of the 1992-93 season and the beginning of the 1993-94 season.
April 2, 1996 The Vancouver Grizzlies lost their 23rd consecutive game, setting an NBA single-season record for most consecutive losses. Denver tied the record when it lost its 23rd straight on January 23, 1998.
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