Kevin Durant Becomes 3rd Player to Win Finals MVP in 1st Year with Team

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffJune 13, 2017

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12:  NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors speaks to the media after winning the NBA Championship in Game Five of the 2017 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers on June 12, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant finished with 39 points, seven rebounds, five assists and one steal during Monday's Game 5 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. In doing so, the Warriors became NBA champions and Durant became the third player in NBA history to win Finals MVP in his first year with a new team, per ESPN Stats & Info.

During the Finals, Durant averaged 35.2 points on 55.6 percent from the field and 47.4 percent from three, 8.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.0 steal across 39.7 minutes per game.

The other two players to achieve a Finals MVP in their first year on a new team were Magic Johnson and Moses Malone. 

Johnson, a rookie with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980, averaged 21.5 points, 11.2 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 2.7 steals in 42.7 minutes per game during that Finals. Malone—a year after departing from the Houston Rockets—averaged 25.8 points, 18.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks over 39.3 minutes per game for the Philadelphia 76ers during the 1983 Finals.

Maybe unsurprisingly, Durant set new career playoff highs in efficiency during his first playoff run as a member of the Warriors, shooting 55.6 percent from the field, 44.2 percent from three and 89.3 percent from the charity stripe. In addition, he set new personal highs in his percentage of shots taken that were either a layup (26.5) or three-pointer (32.1), per Basketball Reference.

With the season at a close, Durant has completed the first year of the two-year contract he signed last summer. While he has a player option for the 2017-18 season, it seems unlikely that he would opt out with a second championship seemingly well within his grasp.

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