Paul named West player of the month

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul has been named the Kia NBA Western Conference Player of the Month for April on Friday after leading the team to its first playoff berth in six years.

In the month of April, Paul averaged 20.7 points, 9.9 assists and 3 steals per game, sitting out one of the Clippers' 14 contests due to a strained left groin. He had seven 20-point performances and three 30-point outbursts, including 31 in a road win at Oklahoma City and 33 points at home against New Orleans this week.

The Clippers went 9-5 in April to finish as the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. They open up their first-round series Sunday in Memphis.

Paul beat out Memphis’ Rudy Gay, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, San Antonio’s Tony Parker and Utah’s Al Jefferson to win the award. It is his first player of the month honor since January 2010 and the sixth of his seven-year NBA career.

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony was the Eastern Conference award-winner.