The NBA announced today that Kobe Bryant and the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard today were named the Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Jan. 5, through Sunday, Jan. 11.
In leading the Lakers to three wins in four games, Bryant hit the 30-point mark twice, dished a season-high 13 assists in a win over Indiana and hit a game-winner against the Pacers on a free throw line jumper with 3.0 seconds remaining. After the week, Kobe had his Lakers squad boasting the NBA’s best record at 30-6 (.883).
Here’s a synopsis of Bryant’s four games:
Jan. 6 vs. New Orleans: Connected on 6-of-7 three-point field goal attempts en route to 39 points in a 116-105 loss to the Hornets.
Jan. 7 @ Golden State: Tallied 21 points, five assists and five steals in a 114-106 win over the Warriors.
Jan. 9 vs. Indiana: Poured in 36 points and added a season-high 13 assists as the Lakers topped the Pacers 121-119.
Jan. 11 vs. Miami: Tallied 19 points and seven assists in a 108-105 win over the Heat.
For the season, Bryant’s averaging 27.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals. His numbers are only slightly down from his 28.3, 6.3, 5.4 and 1.8, but he’s playing three fewer minutes a game, and has seen his shooting percentages rise in all three categories.
In fact, Kobe’s knocking down a career-high 48.1 percent from the field (career average is 45.4 percent) despite taking a good amount of jumpers, hitting a career-high from the free throw line (87.1 percent) and hitting 36.8 of his threes (up from 36.1 percent last season).
This all goes without talking about Bryant’s outstanding defense, which most recently denied Dwyane Wade the ball throughout most of the fourth quarter in L.A.’s 108-105 win.
Up next for Bryant and Co. is a Texas two-step through Houston and San Antonio.