Kevin Durant Wins 2018 NBA Finals MVP After Warriors' 3rd Title in 4 Years

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2018

Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant dribbles in the first half of Game 3 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wednesday, June 6, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

For the second straight year, the Golden State Warriors are NBA champions. And for the second straight year, Kevin Durant is the NBA Finals MVP.   

While Stephen Curry seemingly had a comfortable lead in the MVP race through the first two games, Durant used an unbelievable Game 3 performance to move himself ahead of his teammate.

The 6'9", 240-pound forward averaged 28.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.3 blocks for the series, highlighted by a special Game 3 (43 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists). He put an exclamation point on that performance with a deep dagger in the final minute to seal the victory.

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Having a triple-double (20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists) in the closeout game certainly didn't hurt.

He earned Finals MVP honors last year by averaging 35.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. That series gave him a chance to validate his decision to leave Oklahoma City for Golden State—and he took full advantage of that opportunity.

Durant had 30-plus points in all five games of the 2017 Finals, a feat he managed only once (in Game 3) this series. Last year was a statement series for him, while this year was largely an all-around team effort.

Before joining the Warriors, Durant had made only one appearance in the Finals in nine years, losing to LeBron James' Miami Heat in 2012. In his two seasons since signing with Golden State in 2016, he has two rings and two Finals MVPs.

In other words, he made the right decision for his career.

While Curry missed out on the Finals MVP award yet again, he said before the series that the only hardware he cares about is the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

With Durant leading the way, the Warriors are NBA champions for the third time in four years.

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