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. The Warriors' Stephen Curry finished sixth. Curry, an All-Star who averaged 24 points and 8.5 assists per game in the regular season, received four third-place votes, nine fourth-place votes and 19 fifth-place votes.
"Everything in my life, I had to take it," Durant said at a ceremony in Edmond, Oklahoma. "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.
"He's basically put himself in front of everybody else in the league and shown that he's the best player in the world," Westbrook said at the end of the regular season.
Spurs 116, Trail Blazers 92: Tony Parker had 33 points and nine assists, and San Antonio never trailed in a resounding victory over Portland in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. Marco Belinelli had 19 points, and the Australian connection of Aron Baynes and Patty Mills had 10 points apiece. LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and 14 rebounds, and Damian Lillard had 17 points for Portland.
Heat 107, Nets 86: James scored 22 points, Ray Allen added 19, and Miami stayed perfect in this postseason by beating New Jersey in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series. It was the first win for Miami in five meetings with Brooklyn this season.
Deron Williams and Joe Johnson scored 17 points each for the Nets, who got only eight from Paul Pierce and no points from Kevin Garnett in 16 minutes. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday night.
Clippers: Team president Andy Roeser is taking an indefinite leave of absence while the NBA restructures the franchise in the wake of owner Donald Sterling's lifetime ban. Sterling is the NBA's longest-tenured owner after buying the Clippers in 1981. Roeser, one of the Clippers' alternate governors, is one of the league's longest-tenured executives, having just completed his 30th season with the team.
Raptors: Toronto made Casey's return official, announcing a three-year contract extension for the coach whose team won a franchise-best 48 games this season and ended a six-year playoff drought.