Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Kevin Durant MVP

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Kevin Durant has plenty of scoring titles. Now, he finally has an MVP trophy to go with them.

The Oklahoma City Thunder star won the NBA's top individual honor Tuesday, grabbing 119 first-place votes. Miami's LeBron James, who had 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.

Durant won his fourth scoring crown in five years this season by averaging 32 points per game.  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 percent from the field.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Michael Carter-Williams has something to show for being a bright spot in a dismal season for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Carter-Williams won the NBA's Rookie of the Year Award on Monday after becoming only the third player since 1950-51 to lead all rookies in scoring (16.7), rebounding (6.3) and assists (6.2). Oscar Robertson (1960-61) and Alvan Adams (1975-76) were the others.

Despite the performance of their dynamic guard, the Sixers were awful this season. They were 19-73 and tied an NBA record by losing 26 straight games.

Carter-Williams received 104 of a possible 124 first-place votes. The Orlando Magic's Victor Oladipo finished second and Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz was third.

Allen Iverson is the only other player in Sixers history to win the award. The 11th overall pick from Syracuse in last year's draft, Carter-Williams is the first player picked 10th or lower to win since Mark Jackson did it in 1987 for New York.

Carter-Williams had a spectacular debut, posting 22 points, 12 assists and nine steals to lead the Sixers to a stunning 114-110 victory over the two-time defending champion Miami Heat. He was the second rookie after Shaquille O'Neill to be the Eastern Conference Player of the Week in his first week in the NBA.

*** [6/4/14] NEW YORK -- The Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant, the 2013-14 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player and winner of four scoring titles in five seasons, highlights the 2013-14 All-NBA First Team. Durant was the lone unanimous selection, appearing on all 125 ballots as a First-Team pick while LeBron James of the Miami Heat garnered 124 First-Team votes.

Joining Durant and James on the First Team are Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls. Harden and Noah captured First Team honors for the first time in their careers. Paul is an All-NBA First Team selection for the fourth time. Durant makes his fifth appearance on the First Team, while James earned his eighth All-NBA First Team nod.

Durant averaged a career-best 32.0 points to go with 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists, also a career high. In capturing his fourth scoring title, he joined Jordan (10), Chamberlain (seven), Gervin (four), and Allen Iverson (four) as the only players in league annals to win at least four scoring titles. He shot .503 from the field, .391 from three-point range, and .873 from the free throw line, leading all players in free throws made (703) and attempted (805). Durant authored two 50-point games, topped the 40-point mark on 14 occasions, and turned in 17 games with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds.

James shot a career-high 56.7 percent from the field this season, marking the seventh consecutive season he has improved his field goal percentage. He connected on 116 three-point field goals, the second straight season he has made over 100 three-point field goals while shooting at least 55 percent from the field. He posted his ninth 2000-point season, becoming only the fourth player in NBA history to accomplish this feat, joining Karl Malone (12), Michael Jordan (11) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (9).

Noah, who appeared in 80 of Chicago's 82 games, ranked sixth in the NBA in rebounding (11.3 rpg), 12th in blocks (1.51 bpg) and added 1.24 steals. He was one of just three players (Detroit's Andre Drummond and New Orleans' Anthony Davis) to average at least 10.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals. Behind Noah, the Bulls held opponents to a .430 field goal percentage, second-stingiest in the league.

Paul led the NBA in assists (10.7 apg) and steals (2.48 spg), while averaging 19.1 points and 4.3 rebounds as the Clippers won a franchise-record 57 games. Paul became the seventh player in NBA history to top the 6,000-assist plateau before the end of his ninth season. He's only the fourth player in NBA history to reach 6,000 assists before his 29th birthday, joining Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas and John Stockton.

Harden finished fifth in the NBA in scoring (25.4 ppg), and added 6.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds. He was one of only two players (LeBron James) to average at least 25.0 points, 6.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds. He finished second in the NBA in free throws made (576), topped the 30-point mark in 24 games and registered two 40-plus outings. Harden also ranked fifth in the NBA in minutes (38.0 mpg).

The All-NBA Second Team consists of guards Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, forwards Blake Griffin of the Clippers and Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves and center Dwight Howard of the Rockets.

The All-NBA Third Team includes the Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard and the Phoenix Suns' Goran Dragic at guard, the Indiana Pacers' Paul George and the Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge at forward and the Charlotte Hornets' Al Jefferson at center.

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