Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James was named today as the NBA's Eastern Conference Player of the Month presented by KIA for games played in the month of January.
In 14 games during the month, James averaged 27.5 points on .456 shooting, 9.6 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game. James has now won the award for the ninth time in his career: for the second time this season (November); two times during 2007-08, once in 2006-07, twice in 2005-06 and twice during the 2004-05 campaign.
During January, James ranked first in triple-doubles (3), second in points per game (27.5), steals (2.1), and assists (8.1), tied for fourth in rebounds (9.6) and double-doubles (8), and ranked 10th in blocks (1.5) among Eastern Conference players. The last player to have at least James' averages in a month, for points, rebounds and assists was Larry Bird in March 1987. He scored 20 or more points in 13 games and 30 or more points six times. James led the team to a 10-4 record during the month, helping Cleveland to 10 or more wins in three consecutive months for the second time in franchise history (Dec.-Feb. 1988-89). James also won Eastern Conference Player of the Week once during the month (for the week ending January 25th).
At Quicken Loans Arena, James posted 38 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three blocks and four steals versus Boston on Jan. 9. The last player to reach those numbers in a game was David Robinson on March 19, 1994.
James recorded three triple-doubles during the month (Jan.2nd vs. Chicago, Jan. 13th at Memphis, and Jan. 27th vs. Sacramento). In the first game of the month, James achieved his first triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, three blocks and two steals. At Memphis, he finished with 30 points, 10 assists, 11 rebounds and three steals. Against Sacramento, for his third triple-double of the month, James scored 23 points to go along with 15 rebounds, 11 assists and three blocks becoming the first player to record at least those numbers since Larry Bird on April 1, 1987.
Against Portland, James recorded the sixth of his eight double-doubles during the month with 34 points and dished out a season-high 14 assists on Jan. 21. In a 106-105 victory at Golden State, James made the game-winning shot as time expired and finished with 32 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. The following night at Utah, he tallied his seventh double-double of the month with 33 points and 14 rebounds to go along with nine assists. In a win over the Los Angeles Clippers, James recorded 25 points, seven rebounds, and six assists to help push the Cavaliers record versus the West to 16-2; an Eastern Conference best.
The Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant was named the Western Conference Player of the Month. Other nominees for Eastern Conference Player of the Month were Charlotte's Raja Bell, Indiana's Danny Granger, Orlando's Dwight Howard, Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala, New York's David Lee, Milwaukee's Charlie Villanueva and Miami's Dwyane Wade.