Rockets’ Harden named NBA’s Most Valuable Player

Houston Rockets star James Harden was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player during Monday’s NBA Awards show.

Harden beat out fellow finalists Anthony Davis and LeBron James. He’s the third Rockets player to win MVP, joining Moses Malone and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Harden was the MVP runner-up in 2014-15 and 2016-17.

The second annual NBA Awards are voted on by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

Harden was the NBA’s top scorer this past season with 30.4 points per game, leading the Houston Rockets to a league-best record of 65-17.

James actually led the NBA in total points with 2,251 while playing all 82 games for the first time in his career. However, his scoring average of 27.5 points per game was third behind Harden and Davis’ 28.1 points.

James finished second in the NBA in assists per game, with his average of 9.1 trailing only Russell Westbrook’s 10.3, with Harden coming in third with 8.8 per game.

Davis finished fifth in the league with 11.1 rebounds per game while easily leading the NBA in blocks at 193 for an average of 2.57 per game.

Utah’s Rudy Gobert was named NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, topping Davis and Philadelphia center Joel Embiid.

Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons won the Rookie of the Year award over Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Boston’s Jayson Tatum.

Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers was awarded the Sixth Man award over Houston’s Eric Gordon and Toronto’s Fred VanVleet, while Indiana’s Victor Oladipo was named Most Improved Player over Houston’s Clint Capela and Brooklyn’s Spencer Dinwiddie.

Dwane Casey, who was fired by the Raptors after the season before being hired by the Detroit Pistons, won the Coach of the Year award over Utah’s Quin Snyder and Boston’s Brad Stevens.