LeBron James, Chris Paul named NBA Players of the Week
NBA.com Global on Dec 19, 2017 07:25 AM
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Cleveland Cavaliers press release
CLEVELAND – The NBA announced on Monday, December 18 (Tuesday, Dec. 19, PHL time) that Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for Week 9 (games played Dec.12-18, PHL time). This marks the second time James has won the award in 2017-18, increasing his total to an NBA-record 59 Player of the Week awards.
In four games this past week, James led the Cavaliers to a perfect 4-0 record after averaging 24.8 points on .522 shooting from the field, 10.5 rebounds, an NBA-high 13.5 assists and 1.3 steals in 38.0 minutes. He recorded three straight triple-doubles to close out the week, tying the longest streak of his NBA career (3/7/09-3/12/09). Among Eastern Conference leaders, the 6'8" forward ranked first in triple-doubles (3), first in double-doubles (4), first in assists per game (13.5), sixth in rebounds per game (10.5) and sixth in points per game (24.5). James, who tallied at least 20 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists in all four victories, was the only player in the East to average a triple-double.
James opened the week by having the third-highest field goal percentage of his NBA career, shooting 11-13 (.846) and tallying 25 points, a career-high tying 17 assists, seven rebounds and two steals in 35 minutes in the Cavs' 123-114 win against Atlanta on December 12 (Dec. 13, PHL time). During the Cavs' 121-112 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on December 14 (Dec. 15, PHL time), he registered a triple-double with 25 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists, two steals and two blocks in 39 minutes. With 29 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds in 37 minutes in a 109-100 win over Utah on December 16, he notched his 60th career triple-double, passing Larry Bird (59) for sixth all-time in NBA history. James closed out the week with his third consecutive triple-double with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 15 assists in 41 minutes in Cleveland's 106-99 road win at Washington on December 17 (Dec. 18, PHL time). With his fourth basket that night, James passed Hakeem Olajuwon (10,749 FGM) for ninth place on the NBA’s all-time field goals made list. He also set a career high with his fifth consecutive game of at least 10 assists.
In 31 games (all starts) in 2017-18, James is averaging 27.8 points (3rd in NBA) on a career-best .570 shooting from the field (6th in NBA), 8.5 rebounds (20th in NBA), a career-high 9.3 assists (2nd in NBA), 1.39 steals and 1.10 blocks in 37.4 minutes per game. The 13-time NBA All-Star has 22 double-doubles (tied for 2nd in NBA) and six triple-doubles (2nd in NBA) for the Cavaliers, who have the best record in the NBA since November 11 at 18-1 (.947).
Houston Rockets press release
HOUSTON – Today, the NBA announced that Chris Paul has been named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from Monday, Dec. 11 through Sunday, Dec. 17 (Week 9, Dec. 12-18, PHL time). It is the 13th time Paul has received Player of the Week honors in his career and the first since January of 2016. He is the first Rocket not named James Harden to win the award since Goran Dragic in April of 2012.
For the week, Paul helped the Rockets to a 4-0 mark, while averaging 26.0 points (53.8% FGs, 45.7% 3FGs, 94.7% FTs), 7.8 assists, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.25 steals. The Rockets have won 13 in a row since Paul returned to the lineup and are outscoring opponents by an average of 15.9 points per game over that span. The 13-game winning streak is tied for the fourth-longest in franchise history.
Paul opened the week by helping the Rockets mount a fourth-quarter comeback against one of his former teams, New Orleans, on Monday, Dec. 11 (Dec. 12, PHL time). He had a season-high 31 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds against his hometown Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). On Friday (Saturday, PHL time) against division rival San Antonio, Paul tallied 28 points, 8 assists and an NBA season-high tying 7 steals. He capped off the week by scoring 23 of his 25 points during the second half of a four-point win over Milwaukee.
Paul has scored at least 20 points in each of the past five games, tying for his longest single season streak since the first six games of 2009-10. He has also hit three or more three-pointers in four straight games for the first time in his career and is currently shooting a career-best 42.9% from behind-the-arc.
The Rockets are 14-0 when Paul plays this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first player to win each of his first 14 starts with a new team since starts were tracked in 1970-71. If he qualified, Paul would rank third in the NBA in assists (9.2 apg) and second in steals (2.36). He has the most assists and steals of any active player and ranks 10th and 14th in those categories all-time.