Kevin Durant named 2014 NBA MVP

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder star has finally topped LeBron James to win the Most Valuable Player award.

SB Nation 2014 NBA Playoff Bracket

Kevin Durant is no longer runner-up. The Oklahoma City Thunder swingman has been named the 2014 NBA MVP, and Durant will be honored at a press conference on Tuesday.

Durant ran away with the award, earning 119 of the 125 first-place votes. LeBron James came in second, receiving the other six first-place votes and 118 second-place votes. Blake Griffin finished in third place, although he did get one second-place vote. Joakim Noah and James Harden rounded out the top five in the voting.

Durant finished the regular season with averages of 32 points, 5.5 assists and 7.4 rebounds per game. He is the fourth player in NBA history to average 32 points, five assists and seven rebounds in a season; the last one was Michael Jordan in 1988-89. The Thunder forward shot 50.3 percent overall and 39.1 percent from three-point range, which amounted to a 63.5 true shooting percentage, an elite number for a volume shooter. Out of rotation players that averaged 15 or more minutes per game, Durant's true shooting percentage ranked seventh in the NBA, and among perimeter players he was only bested by Kyle Korver (65.3), James (64.9) and Pablo Prigioni (64.2).

The league's leading scorer, Durant averaged 4.6 more points per game than second-highest scorer, Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, and became the fifth player in NBA history to win four scoring titles.

Perhaps the most impressive portion of Durant's season came during the Thunder's stretch without point guard Russell Westbrook from late December to mid-February. Over the course of 27 games, Durant recorded a true shooting percentage of 64.9 while averaging 34.9 points per game. From Jan. 7 to April 8, Durant scored at least 25 points in 41 straight games, the NBA's third-longest such streak. Durant scored 40-plus points 14 times this season, and no one else did it more than six times.

The result is that the Oklahoma City Thunder finished the regular season with a record of 59-23, good enough for second place in the loaded Western Conference. At one point early in the season, they went on a 19-2 run and Durant was the reason. He was the high scorer in 13 of those games, an unstoppable force in Scott Brooks' rather plain offensive scheme.

This is not the first time Kevin Durant has been mentioned in the race for MVP. Durant finished second to James in MVP voting in 2010, 2012 and 2013, with similar statistics. Despite his own case for a third-straight trophy, James essentially endorsed Durant winning the award near the end of the regular season.

While Durant has been a superstar for years, this season he was truly superlative. As well as the scoring title, he led the NBA in PER and win shares. He played more total minutes, and made more total field goals and free throws than anyone in the league. He sat out only one game. He piled up points effortlessly, and his otherworldly numbers ceased to be surprising. He made the best-player-in-the-world debate a real thing.

Despite missing Westbrook for almost half the season, Durant led the Thunder to the second-best record in the league. After a 51-point game, an opponent compared him to Jesus.

Now, he is the MVP.

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