Kobe named player of the month

Kobe Bryant was announced as the NBA Western Conference player of the month on Friday for his performance throughout the month of February.

Bryant helped lead the Lakers to a 9-4 record, averaging 23.9 points along with 6.6 assists and 6.7 rebounds a game.

The Lakers started the month six games below .500 at 20-26. Heading into their Sunday night battle at Staples Center against the Atlanta Hawks, the Lakers are now just one game below .500 (29-30).

Bryant scored 38 points in a victory in Dallas with 12 rebounds and seven assists. He leads the league, tied with Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, with 24 30-point games this season. He also scored 40 points in a 111-107 win in Los Angeles over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Miami Heat All-Star LeBron James was named the Eastern Conference player of the month.

Other names considered in the West included Ty Lawson of the Denver Nuggets, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies, Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs and Russell Westbrook and Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

-Eric Pincus