ROOKIES OF THE MONTH +
Players of the Week & Month
The Toronto Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas and the Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in March - The Miami Heat’s LeBron James and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in March - The New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Nikola Pekovic were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, April 1 through Sunday, April 7
NEW YORK, NY USA
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
NBA's TOP ROOKIES
The Toronto Raptors' Jonas Valanciunas and the Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.
Valanciunas ranked first among Eastern Conference rookies in rebounds (7.3 rpg), blocks (1.07 bpg), and field goal percentage (.620). He also ranked second in free throw percentage (.822) and fourth in scoring (11.4 ppg), reaching double figures in points in 11 of his last 12 games (March 6-31). Valanciunas is one of only two rookies (New Orleans' Anthony Davis) in the NBA averaging at least 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and shooting 50 percent from the floor this season.
Lillard, winner of his fifth consecutive Rookie of the Month award, led all rookies in scoring (21.3 ppg), assists (6.8 apg), field goals (119), three-pointers (42) and free throws (61). In March, he became one of only four rookies in league history to record 1,390 points and 475 assists. Lillard also tied the all-time NBA rookie record for three-pointers in a season with 166.
Here is a recap of the month for Valanciunas and Lillard:
Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors
March 20 @ Charlotte: Posted 18 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two steals in a 115-110 win over the Bobcats.
March 29 @ Detroit: Recorded 20 points, four assists and tied a career-high with six rebounds in a 96-95 loss to the Pistons.
March 31 @ Washington: Tallied 26 points, three assists and two rebounds in a 109-105 loss to the Wizards.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
March 8 @ San Antonio: Had 35 points, nine assists, three rebounds and two steals in a 136-106 victory over the Spurs.
March 14 vs. New York: Posted 26 points and 10 assists during a 105-90 win over the Knicks.
March 21 @ Chicago: Posted 24 points, four rebounds and seven assists in a 99-89 victory over the Bulls.
Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were New Orleans' Anthony Davis and Orlando's Maurice Harkless.
PLAYERS OF THE MONTH
The Miami Heat’s LeBron James and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.
James captured his fifth straight 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.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
The New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Nikola Pekovic were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, April 1 through Sunday, April 7.
Anthony led the Knicks, who are in the midst of a 12-game winning streak, to a 4-0 week. He averaged a league-best 41.8 points and became just the second Knick (Bernard King) to tally 40-or-more points in three consecutive outings. Anthony set a season high and tied a career high with 50 points during a 102-90 win over the Miami Heat on April 2. He posted back-to-back double-doubles to close the week in wins over the Milwaukee Bucks on April 5 and Oklahoma City Thunder on April 7.
Pekovic helped the Timberwolves to a 3-1 week behind averages of 25.0 points (third in the conference), and 8.5 rebounds (11th in the conference), while shooting .589 from the field (ninth in the conference). Pekovic led Minnesota in scoring in all four contests and in rebounding three times. His 20-point, 13-rebound performance to close the week during a 107-101 win over the Detroit Pistons marked the 1,000th career victory for head coach Rick Adelman.
Here is a recap of the week for Anthony and Pekovic:
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
April 2 @ Miami: Tied a career high with 50 points on 18-of-26 shooting during a 102-90 win over the Heat.
April 3 @ Atlanta: Scored 40 points on 17-of-27 shooting and added five rebounds and three assists in a 95-82 win over the Hawks.
April 5 vs. Milwaukee: Tallied 41 points on 17-of-28 shooting and added 14 rebounds as the Knicks topped the Bucks 101-83.
April 7 vs. Oklahoma City: Scored 36 points and added 12 rebounds during a 125-120 win over the Thunder.
Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota Timberwolves
April 1 vs. Boston: Posted 29 points and five rebounds during a 110-100 victory over the Celtics.
April 3 @ Milwaukee: Tallied 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting and added eight rebounds and three assists in a 107-98 win over the Bucks.
April 5 vs. Toronto: Collected 24 points and eight rebounds during a 95-93 loss to the Raptors.
April 6 vs. Detroit: Scored 20 points and added 13 rebounds during a 107-101 win over the Pistons.
Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Brooklyn’s Deron Williams, Chicago’s Carlos Boozer, Denver’s Corey Brewer, Indiana’s Roy Hibbert, Memphis’ Mike Conley, and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
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