NewsWire: The Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard and the New Orleans’ Hornets Chris Paul today were named Eastern Conference and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played Dec. 1 through Dec. 31.

Howard averaged 21.7 points on .598 shooting, a league-high 16.1 rebounds and 2.87 blocks in winning his second consecutive monthly award. Howard recorded 14 double-doubles in December, as the Magic went 8-7. The center had five games of 20-plus rebounds, including a season-high 23 on Dec. 3 at Golden State in a 123-117 overtime win.

Paul averaged 24.5 points, 10.4 assists and a league-high 3.00 steals in guiding the Hornets to a Southwest Division-best 9-5 mark. Paul’s month included two 40-plus-point performances and three games with at least 15 assists. With season averages of 21.5 points, 10.2 assists and 3.00 steals, Paul is attempting to become the first player to average at least 20.0 points, 10.0 assists and 3.0 steals for a season.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Atlanta’s Joe Johnson, Boston’s Paul Pierce, Charlotte’s Gerald Wallace, Denver’s Allen Iverson, Detroit’s Richard Hamilton, Houston’s Yao Ming, Philadelphia’s Andre Miller, Portland’s Brandon Roy, and Toronto’s Chris Bosh.