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, receiving 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.
"Everything in my life, I had to take it," Durant said at a ceremony in Edmond. "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 by averaging 32 points. The 6-foot-9 forward helped the Thunder go 59-23, 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.
Durant’s run of 41 consecutive games this season with at least 25 points was the third-longest streak in NBA history.
James averaged 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists while shooting nearly 57 percent from the field.
Griffin averaged 24.1 points and 10.1 rebounds.
Warriors fire coach Mark Jackson
The Golden State Warriors fired head coach Mark Jackson after three seasons Tuesday, ending the franchise’s most successful coaching tenure in the past two decades.
General manager Bob Myers thanked Jackson, saying he helped make the Warriors a more attractive franchise. But Myers said the decision to dismiss Jackson was "unanimous" among the team’s executives, in part because the Warriors want a coach who can "develop a synergy" with everybody in basketball operations.
In his first season, Jackson guaranteed Golden State would make the playoff, then finished 23-36 after the NBA labor lockout. The Warriors went 47-35 last season and had a memorable run to the second round of the playoffs, and they were 51-31 this season before losing in seven games to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round.
The Associated Press
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.