For the second straight year, Kevin Durant is your NBA Finals MVP. The 29-year-old superstar took the honor after putting together a triple-double to help complete the sweep for the Golden State Warriors in their third NBA championship in four years.
Durant averaged 28.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game to pace the Warriors in both statistics and was key to the team’s defense against LeBron James and co. He also pitched in 7.5 assists per game, enough to rank second on the Warriors behind Draymond Green.
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Durant might well have delivered the knockout punch of the series on Wednesday during his 43-point performance in Game 3. With less than a minute remaining, Durant sank a deep 3-pointer to put the Warriors up 106-100 and hand the team an insurmountable lead.
“This is about the journey. All season, getting up every day and going to work with these guys,” Durant said in an interview with ABC’s Doris Burke. “It’s incredible to be around guys like this, it helps you become a better basketball player and a better man. It’s the journey that’s better than the destination and I’m happy that I’m a part of this group.”
NBA tells me the vote on Finals MVP was 7-4, KD over Steph.
Gotta think Durant coming up with that near-perfect game to determine the series was what swayed most voters. It’s what did it for me. https://t.co/wSsCNcGyDQ
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 9, 2018
Kevin Durant holds off Steph Curry and LeBron James for Finals MVP
Durant’s competition was stiff and two-pronged, between his teammate Steph Curry and opponent LeBron James. Curry was as good as ever, averaging 27.5 points and 6.8 assists per game while shooting .415 from 3-point range. All three marks represent Finals career highs for the 30-year-old point guard, who is still searching for his first career Finals MVP award.
If we’re just looking at simple production, no player in this series can touch what James brought to the table for the Cavs. However, no losing player has won the award since Jerry West in 1969 and voters weren’t changing that for a team that just got swept.
Both Curry and James had strong arguments for the award, but in the end, Curry couldn’t top Durant’s production and James couldn’t top the fact that he was on the losing side. Durant’s performance was again just like the NBA envisioned, and feared, that summer two years ago when he rocked the league’s balance of power.
More NBA Finals coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Durant claims 2nd straight Finals MVP honor
• Warriors complete sweep to win championship
• NBA players are already recruiting LeBron
• LeBron: ‘I pretty much played the last 3 games with a broken hand’