NEW YORK, Jan. 3, 2012 – The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant and the Miami Heat’s LeBron James today were named the Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Sunday, Dec. 25, through Sunday, Jan. 1.
Durant helped the Thunder to a 5-0 start as well, averaging a Western Conference-best 27.4 points (second overall), while shooting .547 from the field and .500 from beyond the arc. Durant opened the 2011-12 campaign with four 30-plus-point performances. He recorded a double-double – 30 points and 11 rebounds – in a 104-102 win over the Mavericks Dec. 29.
James guided the Heat to a 5-0 record to start the season, including an opening-night victory over the Dallas Mavericks in a rematch of the 2011 Finals. James led the league in scoring (29.6 ppg), paced the conference in steals (2.40 spg), and averaged a team high in assists (6.6 apg). James scored 34 or more points on three occasions, including 37 in Miami’s 105-94 win at Dallas Dec. 25.
Here is a recap of the week for Durant and James:
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
*Dec. 25 vs. Orlando: Tallied 30 points, six assists and five rebounds in a 97-89 win over the Magic.
*Dec. 28 @ Memphis: Posted 32 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in a 98-95 road victory over the Grizzlies.
*Dec. 29 vs. Dallas: Recorded a 30-point, 11-rebound double-double in a 104-102 home win over the Mavericks.
LeBron James, Miami Heat
*Dec. 25 @ Dallas: Recorded 37 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in a 105-94 win at Dallas.
*Dec. 28 @ Charlotte: Tallied 35 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals in a 96-95 road victory.
*Dec. 30 @ Minnesota: Recorded a 34-point, 10-assist double-double, and added eight assists and four steals in a 103-101 win at Minnesota.
Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Houston’s Kyle Lowry, Indiana’s Roy Hibbert, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, Minnesota’s Kevin Love, Orlando’s Dwight Howard and Phoenix’s Steve Nash.