Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard has been named Eastern Conference Player of the Week while Utah Jazz guard has claimed Western Conference honours for games played between January 7-13.
This marks the sixth time Leonard he has earned the honour overall and the second time this season with the Raptors.
Leonard led the Raptors in scoring last week averaging 30.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and shot 53.8 per cent (35-fo-65) from the field. He also shot 47.1 per cent (8-for-17) from three-point range and 82.4 per cent (14-for-17) at the free throw line as Toronto went 3-0.
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The highlight of Leonard’s week was a 41-point performance during Toronto’s 140-138 double-overtime victory on January 13 at Washington. It was his second 40-point contest this season and extended a career-high streak of consecutive games with 20+ points to 19 games.
Leonard recorded two double-doubles last week – January 13 at Washington (41 points, 11 rebounds) and January 11 vs. Brooklyn (20 points, 11 rebounds) – increasing his total to 11 double-doubles for the season. During the Raptors’ 104-101 home win over Atlanta on January 8, Leonard recorded a season-high six steals to go along with 31 points and six assists.
Toronto currently have an NBA-best 33-12 (.733) record.
Donovan Mitchell fires from three
Utah Jazz guard Mitchell averaged 31.5 points and 5.75 assists over four games last week, leading the Jazz to a 3-1 record in that span.
He recorded 26 points with six three-pointers in a 114-102 loss at Milwaukee and 33 points on 12-of-21 shooting and seven assists as the Jazz beat the Orlando Magic 106-93.
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Mitchell also hit 33 points and dished out nine assists as the Jazz rolled to a 113-93 home win over the Los Angeles Lakers on January 11. He went one better the following night, scoring 34 in a 110-102 win over the Chicago Bulls.
Mitchell shot 48.4 per cent from the field last week and 48.6 per cent from three-point territory. He also averaged 4.3 rebounds and 1 block during those four games. He has now scored 30 or more points in three straight games, the longest streak of his career.
Donovan Mitchell threw down a huge dunk on Javale McGee as the Utah Jazz defeated the Los Angeles Lakers
“He’s shown a decisiveness to attack,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said after Mitchell’s 33-point performance against the Lakers. “You don’t even have to think of it as scoring, it’s just attacking. Sometimes he’ll be the one to score. Sometimes he’ll pass it. Really, he was ready to go.”
“He’s obviously doing something right,” forward Derrick Favors said. “He’s always in the gym, always working on his game. He’s focused. There’s a lot of pressure on him in the point guard position. He’s just out there making plays, making shots and playing great.”
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This is the first time in his career Mitchell has earned the NBA’s Player of the Week honour. He is the 53rd player in Jazz history to win the award and the first since November 6, 2016 (George Hill).
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