Durant is MVP
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Kevin Durant has plenty of NBA scoring titles. Now, he finally has an MVP trophy to go with them.
The Oklahoma City Thunder star received the league’s top individual honour today, earning 119 first-place votes. Miami’s LeBron James, who won the last two MVP awards and four of the previous five, finished second with six first-place votes, and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers was third.
“Everything in my life, I had to take it,” Durant said at a ceremony in Edmond, Oklahoma. “They’re not going to give it to you out of sympathy. I wouldn’t want it any other way. This was another case, if I wanted to win the MVP, I had to go take it. I felt that this was the year I did that.”
Durant won his fourth scoring crown in five years this season by averaging 32 points per game. He helped the Thunder finish the regular season with a 59-23 record, second best in the league, despite playing much of the season without three-time All-Star Russell Westbrook by his side because of a nagging knee injury.
“He’s been the most consistent guy all season long,” Westbrook said at the end of the regular season. “He’s done a great job of leading us to where we are now. He’s basically put himself in front of everybody else in the league and shown that he’s the best player in the world.”
James agreed, saying on Monday: “Much respect to him and he deserves it. He had a big-time MVP season.”
Durant’s run of 41 consecutive games this season with at least 25 points was the third longest streak in NBA history. In all, he scored at least 40 points 14 times. He also averaged 7.4 rebounds and a career-high 5.5 assists while shooting 50 per cent from the field.