Cavaliers’ James, Thunder’s Westbrook named November’s top players

Cavaliers' James, Thunder's Westbrook named November's top players
Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire

Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward LeBron James and Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook have been named the NBA’s Players of the Month for November.

James, 31, will claim the award for the 39th time in his career and the first time since March 2016. The three-time NBA Champion is averaging 23.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 9.3 assists in 35.9 minutes per game this season. His points per game total is his lowest since he averaged just over 20 points during his rookie year. Conversely, his rebounding and assist totals would be new career-highs if they were to hold.

The Cavaliers currently own a 13-3 record, the best in the Eastern conference. The defending champions started the season 6-0 but have lost three of their last 10 as James has started to cool off slightly.

One person who has not simmered down is the Western Conference winner for November in Westbrook.

He is averaging 31 points, 10.5 rebounds and 11.3 assists per game. He is also the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 to average a triple-double heading into December. When Robertson did it, he ended up becoming the only player to average a triple-double for an entire season.

Westbrook has nine official triple-doubles so far this season, which is the same amount as the rest of the NBA in total. The Thunder are 12-8 in their first season since losing superstar forward Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors.

The NBA also announced their Rookie of the Month Awards while giving it to Philadelphia 76ers’ big man Joel Embiid and Denver Nuggets’ guard Jamal Murray. Embiid, the third overall pick from back in 2014, finally made his NBA debut after leg and back issues cost him two seasons. He is averaging 18.2 points and 7.8 boards per game.

Murray, the seventh pick from 2016, is averaging 10.4 points per game while shooting 41 percent from three-point range.

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