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    Warriors’ Durant named Most Valuable Player of NBA Finals

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

    Jun 12, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the fourth quarter in game five of the 2017 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

    Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors hoping to win an elusive title and on Monday he not only reached his goal but was also named the unanimous Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals.

    Durant, in his first season with the Warriors, led the way in a 4-1 series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers to capture his maiden NBA title and the team’s second in three seasons.

    The 28-year-old American averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists in the best-of-seven Finals, which the Warriors wrapped up in five games.

    To win his first NBA title, Durant had to overcome Cavaliers forward LeBron James, whose former Miami Heat team defeated Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 Finals.

    “He’s the only person that I was looking at since 2012,” Durant said after the game. “I knew it was going to be a battle I just tried to challenge him … you can’t stop the guy. But we battled.

    “I told him we’re tied up now and we’re going to try to do this thing again but I’m going to celebrate this one tonight.” — By Rory Carroll | OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

    (Additional reporting by Jahmal Corner; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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    Cavs reportedly trade Irving to Celtics for Thomas, other assets

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

    FILE PHOTO: Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving drives on Boston’s Isaiah Thomas | USA TODAY / VIA REUTERS

    (The Sports Xchange) – The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly agreed to trade All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for a package led by fellow All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas.

    Irving, who made headlines earlier in the summer when it leaked that he had requested a trade, moves on from a Cavaliers squad that reached the NBA Finals in each of the last three seasons and won a championship in 2016.

    He joins a Celtics squad that finished first in the Eastern Conference during the regular season last season but was bounced by the Cavaliers in five games the Eastern Conference Finals. Thomas missed the last three games of the series with a hip injury, and might not be ready for regular season opener.

    Boston will also reportedly send small forward Jae Crowder, center prospect Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets 2018 first-round pick to Cleveland in the deal.

    Irving, 25, averaged a career-high 25.2 points on 47.3 percent shooting and 5.8 assists last season. He has three years and $60 million remaining on his contract. Thomas, who finished third in the NBA with an average of 28.9 points in 2016-17, will be a free agent after the 2017-18 campaign.

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    Warriors finalize signings of Curry, Durant and others

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, July 27th, 2017

    FILE PHOTO: Jun 12, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in game five of the 2017 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    (The Sports Xchange) – The Golden State Warriors announced they have re-signed free agents Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Zaza Pachulia and David West, making official what had been reported over the past several weeks.

    The Warriors did not disclose details of the agreements, but the terms were reported by various media outlets.

    Curry agreed to a five-year, $201 million super-max deal shortly after the NBA’s free agency period began.

    Durant agreed to a two-year deal worth approximately $53 million.

    Iguodala reached agreement on a three-year, $48 million contract, Pachulia agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract, Livingston signed a three-year $24 million deal, and West signed a one-year contract.

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    Thunder’s Westbrook named MVP after historic season

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

    Jun 26, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder player Russell Westbrook poses for photos with his 2017 NBA most valuable player award during the 2017 NBA Awards at Basketball City at Pier 36. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook put the finishing touch on a magical season by being named the Most Valuable Player of the 2016-17 campaign on Monday at the NBA’s inaugural awards show.

    Westbrook, who became only the second player and first in 55 years to average a triple-double for an entire season, won the award over Houston Rockets guard James Harden and San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.

    Westbrook averaged a mind-boggling 31.6 points, 10.4 assists and 10.7 rebounds over 81 games, making him the first player to average double-digits in three major categories since Oscar Robertson first did it in 1961-62.

    After Westbrook was presented with the Maurice Podoloff Trophy by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, he promptly called his team mates to the stage.

    “These guys sacrificed so much for me throughout the year,” said Westbrook. “It was obviously an amazing season for me but without these guys and the rest of our guys that are not here, none of this would be possible.

    “So this award is not for me. This is for all you guys and I am very thankful to have you guys in my corner. You guys are my brothers for life.”

    The 28-year-old American was on a mission from the start of the season as he silenced critics who doubted whether he could thrive without Kevin Durant, who left the Thunder last July and won an NBA title with Golden State two weeks ago.

    Westbrook carried the Thunder on a nightly basis, setting the new standard by recording 42 triple-doubles, one better than the former single-season mark set by Robertson.

    Despite the loss of Durant, a four-times scoring champion, the Westbrook-led Thunder recorded 47 wins, just eight fewer than the previous campaign.

    The first-ever NBA Awards show followed years in which the league announced individual honors separately throughout the postseason.

    Among the night’s other awards, Golden State forward Draymond Green, two weeks removed from winning his second NBA title in three years, was named the best defensive player.

    Mike D’Antoni was named Coach of the Year after leading Houston to 55 wins in his first season with the team.

    Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon was named Rookie of the Year, while Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon earned the Sixth Man Award for his work off the bench as a substitute.

    (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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