To nobody’s surprise, Golden State Warriors ace Steph Curry is named NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the second year running, the 11th player to win back-to-back MVP awards.
Curry had returned from a sprained knee injury on Monday, scoring an NBA record of 17 points in overtime against the Portland Trail Blazers. He finished the game with 40 points as the Warriors rallied to a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semi-finals with a 132-125 victory.
As he hit a 3-point shot with 1:51 remaining in overtime Monday night, he emphatically said what fans in the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, already knew.
This was for the first time since he was injured in Game 4 of the first-round series against the Houston Rockets, and Curry was quite rusty for three quarters but a sensation down the stretch after the Warriors trailed by as much as 16 points.
He was originally expected to play about 25 minutes off the bench, but picked up a heavier workload in the second half after Shaun Livingston, who had been starting in his absence, got ejected in the second quarter after arguing a call and picking up two technical fouls.
The win also means that the Warriors can progressed through the series should they win in Game 5 on Wednesday night at home.
But his contribution in the game does not take the shine out of his MVP award the next day.
The point guard has also become the first ever player to become an unanimous MVP winner as he made a clean sweep of all 131 first-place votes, including 130 from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters and one from the fan vote.
There are more than a few reasons for this. He made 402 3-pointers, shattering his single-season NBA record of 286, which he set last season. He also led his team to a record-setting 24-0 start, the best start yet by a margin of nine wins.
His team had also finished 73-9, the winningest record in NBA history, exceeding the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’s 72-10 record which many thought impossible to get one over.
Meanwhile, San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard finished second in the voting with 634 points, while Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James was third with 631 points.