Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder is the winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the NBA Most Valuable Player.
It is the first MVP award for Durant, who captured his fourth scoring title in five seasons by averaging a career-best 32 points per game, joining Wilt Chamberlain, George Gervin and Michael Jordan as the only players to top the NBA in scoring four years out of five.
Durant received all but six first-place MVP votes on 125 tabulated ballots. Miami Heat forward LeBron James finished second to Durant. He received six first-place votes, 118 second-place votes and one third-place vote.
“I think Durant has had the best year,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers, whose team went up 1-0 in the Western Conference semifinals at Oklahoma City on Monday. “I still think LeBron (James) is still the best player in the NBA but I think Durant has had an MVP year. I don’t know who has had a better year.
James said Monday there was no disputing Durant’s credentials.
“Much respect to him and he deserves it. He had a big-time MVP season,” said James, a four-time MVP.
Durant, 25, finished second to James in 2012 and 2013. He led the Thunder to 59 victories, a second-place finish in the Western Conference and scored at least 25 points in 41 consecutive games. All-Star sidekick Russell Westbrook missed 46 games due to knee injuries.
Durant totaled 1,232 points, including 119 first-place votes, from a panel of 124 voters that consisted of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada as well as an NBA.com MVP fan vote, making for 125 total ballots.
The fan vote counted as one vote and was compiled with the 124 media votes to determine the winner. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five for each third-place vote, three for each fourth-place vote and one for each fifth-place vote received.
Rounding out the top five in voting were James (891 points, six first-place votes), the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin (434 points), the Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah (322 points), and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (85 points).
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.
Durant’s consistency was highlighted by his streak of 41 consecutive games scoring at least 25 points, which ran from Jan. 7 through April 6, and was the longest streak since Michael Jordan did it in 40 straight games during the 1986-87 season. It’s the third-longest streak (single season) in NBA history, behind Wilt Chamberlain, who did it in all 80 games during the 1961-62 season, and Oscar Robertson, who went for 25-plus in 46 straight games during the 1963-64 season. Chamberlain did it for 106 straight games over the course of the 1961-62 and 1962-63 seasons.
The winner of four Kia NBA Player of the Month honors in 2013-14 (October-November, December, January and March), Durant was also named Player of the Week six times (Dec. 2, Dec. 30, Jan. 20, Jan. 27, Feb. 10 and March 24).
The NBA MVP trophy is named in honor of the late Maurice Podoloff, the first commissioner of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.
For the first time this season, complete media voting results for NBA awards are posted on nba.com/official following the announcement of each winner.