Miami Heat forward LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant today were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Tuesday, Feb. 19 through Sunday, Feb. 24.
James led the Heat to a 4-0 week, which included road wins over the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers. He averaged 23.5 points (fifth in the conference), 9.3 assists (second in the conference), 2.25 steals (third in the conference) and 7.8 rebounds. James posted two double-doubles and a 16-point, 11-assist, 10-rebound triple-double on Feb. 23 at Philadelphia as the Heat became the first club in the East to reach 40 wins. At 40-14 (.741), Miami owns a six-game advantage over the next closest Eastern Conference team, the Indiana Pacers (35-21, .625).
Bryant led the Lakers to a 3-0 week, which included wins over the Boston Celtics and Portland Trail Blazers. He finished second in the conference in scoring at 31.3 ppg, and added 7.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists. Bryant closed the week with a 38-point, 12-rebound, seven-assist performance in Dallas, a 103-99 Lakers’ win. At 28-29 (.491), the Lakers are 2.5 games behind the Houston Rockets (31-27, .534) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Al Horford, Boston’s Jeff Green, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Golden State’s Jarrett Jack, Houston’s James Harden, Indiana’s Paul George, Memphis’ Zach Randolph, Miami’s Dwyane Wade, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Phoenix’s Goran Dragic and Toronto’s Rudy Gay.