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Stephen Curry named NBA MVP as playoff action heats up

STEPHEN Curry has edged out rivals James Harden (Rockets) and LeBron James (Cavaliers) to win his first NBA MVP title.

The Golden State Warriors point guard has been in scintillating form this season with an average of 23.8 points per game and 7.7 assists.

One half of the Golden State “Splash Brothers” which includes teammate Klay Thompson, Curry has led his team to the second round of the NBA Finals where they are currently 1-0 up against the Memphis Grizzles.

The Warriors won Game 1 well and $3.78 is available at CrownBet.com.au for them to win 4-0 in the series.

The MVP race, however, was expected to be tight, with many opting for James Harden, but the voting revealed otherwise.

Curry received 100 of 130 first-place votes for a total of 1,198 points from a panel of 129 writers and broadcasters, along with the fan vote on the NBA’s website.

“There were obviously good times and bad times,” Curry said.

“Times I wanted to shut it down.

“It just made me feel how blessed and thankful I am to be in this position.”

Curry is the son of former NBA star Dell Curry, but most colleges didn’t offer Stephen a scholarship coming out of high school, believing he was too small.

Curry transitioned his game from being a shooting guard to a point guard and he’s never looked back.

“A lot of people thought I had it easy with pops playing in the NBA,” Curry said.

Curry signed a US$44 million, four-year contract extension with the Warriors before the 2012-13 season. The deal was considered a risky one due to Curry’s injury problems.

“I remember thinking that day, ‘This can’t be how this career goes. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be,’ and then I fast forward in my own mind to today and I sit here sharing a stage with him [Dell Curry].”

In second was James Harden, who believed in April that he had “done enough” to win the MVP award.

Harden averaged 27.4 points and led the Houston Rockets to a second-round series against the L.A Clippers.

“That’s tough, but we’re in the second round of the playoffs, and I got better things to worry about,” Harden said.

“The Warriors are a very good team that’s rolling right now and it didn’t work out, but there’s more of the season to continue to play.”

The Rockets are currently paying $9 at Sportsbet.com.au for the 2014/2015 NBA Championship.

Harden’s teammate Dwight Howard chimed in with his thoughts.

“All of us are pretty upset he didn’t win, but our goal is to win the championship.”

Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James finished third in voting ahead of Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis.

“Disappointed? No, I’m not,” said James, a four-time MVP.

“I think it’s well deserved. I mean, you see, first of all, the team success, that’s the first thing that pops out.

“He’s the catalyst of that whole ship, and I think he’s had an unbelievable season.

“I think it’s very well deserved and it’s always great that another kid born in Akron, Ohio, can win an MVP too, so, I like that.”

Curry is the Warriors’ first Most Valuable Player since Wilt Chamberlain played for the Philadelphia Warriors in 1960.

The win capped a very good year for the Warriors, which also took awards for NBA Executive of the Year (Bob Myers), runner up for Coach of the Year (Steve Kerr) and Draymond Green finished second behind Kawhi Leonard for Defensive Player of the Year despite scoring more first-place votes.

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