OAKLAND, Calif. – Stephen Curry is the first unanimous NBA MVP, earning the award for the second straight season Tuesday after leading the defending champion Warriors to a record-setting season.
The Golden State superstar is the 11th player in NBA history to be voted MVP in consecutive seasons and the first guard to do so since Steve Nash in 2004-05 and 2005-06. Curry received 1,310 points from the 130 media voters from the U.S. and Canada.
He was followed in the vote by Kawhi Leonard of San Antonio, LeBron James of Cleveland and Oklahoma City teammates Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Curry’s teammate Draymond Green was seventh.
Curry is the first two-time winner in franchise history, and Wilt Chamberlain (1959-60) is the lone other Warriors winner. After guiding Golden State to its first championship in 40 years, Curry and Co. took that success even further to finish with a record 73 regular-season wins to top the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team that went 72-10.
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In a stunning overtime performance Monday night, Curry showed exactly how he can take over a game in a matter of seconds. He returned from a sprained right knee to score 40 points – and 17 in overtime – in a 132-125 win at Portland to put his team up 3-1 in the Western Conference semifinals.
“I figured that he’d find his stroke and make a few shots but I mean that was, that was crazy,” said Steve Kerr, who was voted NBA Coach of the Year last month.
Curry will be presented with t4rophy Tuesday afternoon at Oracle Arena before trying to close out the series against the Trail Blazers at home Wednesday night.
With that jaw-dropping long-range touch from way, way back and dazzling ballhandling, Curry made a record 402 3-pointers after no player had previously even hit 300 in a season. He averaged an NBA-best 30.1 points per game to go with 6.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds. He also led the NBA with 2.1 steals a game while shooting 50.4 per cent from the field, 45.4 per cent from 3-point range and 90.8 per cent from the foul line.
From the start of the season, Curry vowed to take his game to another level – and did he ever. Now, all that matters to Curry is staying healthy to lead the Warriors to another title.
“The reason Steph is as good as he is because he can score from anywhere,” Kerr said. “If you take away the 3 he can penetrate and hit the floaters or get to the rim.”