Kawhi Leonard named Western Conference Player of the Week

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San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard. (Photo, Franco)

By Spurs Sports and Entertainment

The NBA announced that San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, Jan. 16, through Sunday, Jan 22. Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

This is Leonard’s third time receiving the honor in his career, becoming the first Spur to earn the award this season.

Leonard averaged 36.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.33 steals in 40.2 minutes while shooting .565 (39-69) from the field, .438 (7-16) from beyond the arc and .960 (24-25) from the foul line as the Spurs went 3-0 for the week. He started the week off by registering 34 points (12-17 FG, 2-3 3FG, 8-9 FT), 7 rebounds and 5 assists in 39 minutes in a 122-114 victory over Minnesota on Jan. 17.

Two nights later, Leonard posted a team-high 34 points (12-22 FG, 2-5 3FG, 8-8 FT), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block in 36 minutes in a 118-104 victory vs. Denver.  The reigning back-to-back NBA Defensive Player of the Year closed out the week with a career-best 41 points (15-30 FG, 3-8 3FG, 8-8 FT), 6 rebounds and 5 assists in 46 minutes while helping the Spurs outlast the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 118-115 overtime road win on Jan. 21.

Leonard has scored 30-or-more in six consecutive games, equaling the longest streak (Mike Mitchell – 1986) by a Spur since George Gervin posted 10 consecutive games with 30-plus during the 1979-80 season.  He’s also scored in double figures in 75 straight games dating back to last season, the longest such streak by a Spurs player since Tim Duncan scored in double figures in 75 straight games from March 18, 2004 to March 18, 2005.

For the year, Leonard is averaging a career-best 25.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.83 steals in 33.6 minutes while shooting .490 (345-704) from the field, .413 (85-206) from long range and a career-best .912 (269-295) from the foul line.  He currently ranks third in the NBA in free throw percentage, fifth in steals and 10th in scoring.

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