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 December.
James ranked first in the Eastern Conference in assists (10.3 apg), third in scoring (27.5 ppg) and eighth in rebounding (8.2 rpg) as the Cavaliers went 9-5 in December. He also tied for second in the East in steals with 1.93 per game. The four-time Kia NBA MVP finished second in the East with nine double-doubles and recorded a conference-best five triple-doubles, including three straight from Dec. 14-17 to tie his career-long streak set in March 2009. He notched at least 20 points in 13 of 14 games and recorded five games with 30 or more points. The 33-year-old forward tallied at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists 11 times.
Westbrook averaged a triple-double of 27.8 points (fourth in the NBA), 10.6 assists (tops in the NBA) and 10.2 rebounds (fourth in the West) as the Thunder went 12-5 for the month, including wins over the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors. The 29-year-old guard posted six triple-doubles to improve his league-leading total to 12. He shot 50.0 percent or better from the field in seven of his last nine games for the month. On Dec. 22, Westbrook’s game-winning three-pointer capped a 30-point, 15-assist performance in a 120-117 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.