The Charlotte Bobcats' Al Jefferson and the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant were today named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.
Jefferson ranked fifth in the NBA in scoring (24.7 ppg) and ninth in rebounding (10.6 rpg), while shooting .555 from the field, as the Bobcats went 9-7 to keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Jefferson topped the 30-point mark on three occasions, while finishing with nine point-rebound double-doubles. He had six games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, pushing his season total to 22, which set a franchise record. In back-to-back games against Miami (March 3) and Indiana (March 5), he became the second player in the NBA this season to make at least 15 field goals and shoot at least .640 from the field in two consecutive games.
Durant led the NBA in scoring (34.5 ppg) and added 6.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists as the Thunder went 10-4. He became the first player to average at least 33.0 points in three consecutive months since Michael Jordan during the 1989-90 season. Durant has scored at least 25 points in 38 straight games, two shy of the record 40 set by Jordan in 1989-90. He scored 30 or more points nine times in March, topped the 40-point mark on four occasions and hit for 51 points to go with 12 rebounds and seven assists in a 119-118 double overtime win over the Toronto Raptors on March 21. Durant has earned Player of the Month honors four times in five months this season.
Here is a closer look at the month for Jefferson and Durant:
Al Jefferson, Charlotte Bobcats
March 3 @ Miami: Finished with 38 points on 18-for-24 shooting to go with 19 rebounds in a 124-107 loss to the Heat.
March 5 vs. Indiana: Scored 34 points on 16-for-25 shooting and added eight rebounds and three assists in a 109-87 win over the Pacers.
March 26 vs. Brooklyn: Scored 35 points and snatched 15 rebounds in a 116-111 victory over the Nets.
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
March 4 vs. Philadelphia: Tallied 42 points, nine rebounds and three assists in a 116-99 win over the 76ers.
March 11 vs. Houston: Scored 42 points and added five rebounds and four assists in a 106-98 win over the Rockets.
March 21 @ Toronto: Had 51 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in a 119-118 win over the Raptors.
Other nominees for Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Houston's James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin, Miami's LeBron James, New York's Carmelo Anthony, Phoenix's Goran Dragic and San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard.