Kobe Bryant earns NBA weekly honor

The NBA has selected Kobe Bryant the Western Conference player of the week.

The NBA chose Bryant after the Lakers won three straight with victories over the Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks. The award is announced on Mondays.

Bryant averaged 31.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists — despite a relatively quiet opening game against the Celtics with just 16 points. Bryant went on to score 40 against the Blazers and 38 against the Mavericks, while still making plays for his teammates.

More importantly, the Lakers won two games against teams also trying to break into the top eight in the West (Portland and Dallas). The Lakers are in ninth place, 2 1/2 games behind the Houston Rockets.

Other Western Conference players considered by the NBA included James Harden and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies, Jarrett Jack of the Golden State Warriors and Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns.

LeBron James was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

-Eric Pincus