Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving was named today as the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, December 9 through Sunday, December 15.
In three games during the week, Irving averaged 29.0 points on .508 (32-63) shooting, including .409 (9-22) from beyond the arc and .933 (14-15) from the foul line, 6.3 assists and 2.3 steals in 34.3 minutes per game. His 29.0 points per game average was the highest among all Eastern Conference guards this week and second-highest among all East players. He posted the highest field goal percentage among all players in the conference who had at least a 21.0 points per game average (minimum three games). This past week, he was also one of two players in the East to record multiple 30-point games and the only one to record at least 30 points and 10 assists in a single game. Irving wins the award for the second time of his career (Jan. 21-27, 2013) as Cleveland had a 2-1 record this past week and is 5-2 in its last seven games.
In the 109-94 win against New York on Dec. 10, Irving posted his third double-double of the season with a game-high 37 points on 14-23 (.609) shooting, including 4-7 (.571) from three-point range, a game-high 11 assists, one steal and one turnover in 36 minutes. He became the first Cavs player since World B. Free on March 29, 1986 (43 points, 11 assists, 0 turnovers) to tally at least 37 points and 11 assists, while having one or fewer turnovers in a single game. Before Irving, the last NBA player to accomplish that feat was Kobe Bryant on December 29, 2009 (44 points, 11 assists, one turnover versus Golden State).
Against the Orlando Magic on Dec. 13, Irving led the Cavs to a 109-100 road win after tallying a game-high 31 points on 12-24 (.500) shooting to go along with three rebounds, five assists and two steals in 36 minutes. With his 31-point night, it marked Irving’s third time in his career he had recorded consecutive games of at least 30 points (Jan. 4-5, 2013 & Jan. 22-26, 2013).
“I think we are starting to develop our identity as a gritty team especially when things are not going our way offensively,” said Irving this past weekend. “We are playing with continuity and some flow and we look good out there. It feels good to be out there with one another and we are playing for one another on every single possession.”
In the Cavs’ latest contest at Miami on Dec. 14, Irving scored a team-high 19 points, while adding three assists and a season-high four steals in 31 minutes. His average now stands at 20.9 points per game, which is the highest among Eastern Conference point guards. He is also one of two players in the East with averages of at least 20 points and five assists per game this season.
LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers was named the Western Conference Player of the Week. Other nominees for the Eastern Conference Player of the Week were Brooklyn’s Deron Williams, Indiana’s Roy Hibbert, Miami’s LeBron James and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.
The Cavaliers host the Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.
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