Harden, James, Davis finalists for NBA MVP Award

Houston’s James Harden, Cleveland’s LeBron James and Anthony Davis of New Orleans are the finalists announced yesterday for NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) honours.

Harden, the league’s leading scorer in the regular season with an average of 30.4 points per game, appears the favourite to succeed Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook as MVP when the awards are announced on June 25.

James, who at 33 produced one of the best seasons of his outstanding career, is in the running for a fifth career MVP title. He averaged 27.5 points — the most for him since the 2009-10 season — along with 8.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists and played in all 82 games of the regular season. He could join Bill Russell and Michael Jordan as five-time MVP winners. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all-time leader with six.

Davis and the Pelicans overcame a season-ending injury to sidekick DeMarcus Cousins to earn the sixth seed in the Western Conference.

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