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LeBron earns 59th career Eastern Conference player of the week award

  • APTOPIX-Jazz-Cavaliers-Basketball

    LeBron James, right, drives against Utah Jazz's Alec Burks (10) in the second half of an NBA game Saturday in Cleveland.

    TONY DEJAK / AP

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In what had to be an extremely easy decision, the NBA on Monday named Cavaliers small forward LeBron James the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played from Dec. 11 through Sunday.

The Cavs (23-8), who have won 18 of their last 19 games and five in a row heading into tonight’s game at Milwaukee, got a triple-double performance from their superstar in going 4-0 for the week.

All the 6-foot-8, 250-pound James did in winning the award for an NBA-record 59th time was average 24.8 points, 10.5 rebounds and a league-high 13.5 assists in 38.0 minutes.

The 15th-year pro closed the week with three straight triple-doubles, tying the longest streak of his career (March 7-12, 2009).

James opened the week by posting the third-highest field goal percentage of his career (11-for-13, .846) and finishing with 25 points, seven rebounds and a career-high-tying 17 assists in a 123-114 win over Atlanta.

The four-time league MVP then had 25 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in a 121-112 victory over Atlanta, 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a 109-100 triumph over Utah and 20 points, 12 rebounds and 15 assists in a 106-99 win at Washington.

James now has 61 regular-season triple-doubles in his career, the sixth-most in league history, and five straight games with at least 10 assists, the longest streak of his career.

Sunday against the Wizards, James moved past Hakeem Olajuwon (10,749) and into ninth place for most field goals made (10,754) in league history and tied Nick Van Exel for the 24th-most 3-pointers (1,528).

In starting all 31 games this season, James is averaging 27.8 points (third in the NBA), 8.5 rebounds (20th) and a career-high 9.3 assists (second). The 13-time All-Star also is shooting a career-high .570 from the field (sixth) and averaging 1.39 steals and 1.10 blocks in 37.4 minutes.

Houston’s Chris Paul, James’ close friend, was honored in the Western Conference.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.

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