Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James was named yesterday as the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Month presented by KIA for games played in the month of March. James paced the league in triple-doubles (four) and double-doubles (12), and among Eastern Conference players ranked second in scoring (28.2 ppg) and third in assists (8.4 apg). In a 119-111 win over Phoenix on March 12, James became the 12th player in NBA history to record three consecutive triple-doubles when he scored 34 points and added 13 assists and 10 rebounds. James finished the month with 479 points, 152 rebounds and 143 assists, becoming the second player in league history to reach those totals in one month (Oscar Robertson, 1964-65). At 16-1, Cleveland tied the NBA record for most wins in one month, becoming the fifth team to accomplish the feat and the first team since San Antonio went 16-0 in March 1996. James was named Player of the Week twice in March.
However, things did not start well in April. The Cavaliers on a two-game losing streak matching their longest this season. Never in LeBron James’ entire basketball life could he recall being down by more than 40 points. Not in the NBA. Not in high school. Not even playing pickup basketball as a kid. The Orlando Magic gave him a first. The Magic rode a strong second-half start to go ahead by 41 points. “It’s embarrassing,” James said. Cleveland’s 35-point defeat at Detroit on Nov. 11, 2007, was the most lopsided in the LeBron Era, and a 17-point loss against the Lakers in January had been the Cavs’ worst this season. It was a shocking loss for a team with the NBA’s best record, which lost consecutive games for only the second time this season. Quote of the Week: “I’m hated in all 30 cities. Uh, 29. They love me in Cleveland. They hate me everyplace else. Uh, I forgot about New York. They love me there, too.” James after the previous loss to Wizards.
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