James, Paul named NBA Players of the Month

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LEBRON JAMES of the Miami Heat and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers were named Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in December.

James, seeking his fourth Most Valuable Player trophy, captured his second straight Kia NBA Eastern Player of the Month award by ranking second in the conference in scoring (27.5 ppg) and steals (2.00 spg), fourth in field goal percentage (.555), fifth in assists (7.5 apg), and 12th in rebounds (8.1 rpg). On Christmas Day, James recorded 29 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and two steals as Miami defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-97.

Paul led the Clippers to a 16-0 record in December where they won their games by an average of 15.8 points. He paced the league in steals (2.63 spg) and the Western Conference in assists (9.3 apg) while adding 16.0 points and 3.0 rebounds. Paul had seven point-assist double-doubles, including a 24-point, 13-assist, five-steal performance in a 97-85 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Dec. 21. The Clippers joined the 1995-96 Spurs and 1971-72 Lakers as the only teams in NBA history to complete a calendar month with a record of 16-0.

Other nominees for Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Atlanta’s Al Horford and Josh Smith, Houston’s James Harden, Golden State’s David Lee, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Memphis’ Zach Randolph, New York’s Carmelo Anthony; Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, and San Antonio’s Tony Parker. Noli Cruz

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