James Harden wins first career NBA MVP award

The Houston Rockets star pipped LeBron James and Anthony Davis to clinch the award.

James Harden accepts the most valuable player award at the NBA Awards on Monday at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California.   -  AP

Houston Rockets star James Harden finally got his MVP.

After averaging 30.4 points, 8.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds in 2017-18 and leading Rockets to the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and a 65-17 record, Harden was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player on Monday. "Shout out to all the youngest, man, y'all got a dream, a vision out there, go chase that dream," Harden said after winning his award. "I'll see y'all next year."

This is Harden's second straight year to be in the top three of the voting for the MVP award. The 28-year-old finished second to Russell Westbrook last season. He finished ninth in 2015-16.

Following Harden in the voting was LeBron James, who averaged 27.5 points, 9.1 assists and 8.6 rebounds, and Anthony Davis, who put up 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.

WATCH: James Harden - profile of the 2018 NBA MVP

Harden finished this season averaging 30.4 points per game, a career- and NBA-best. He is the first Rocket to lead the NBA in points per game in a season, and the second player in franchise history to average 30-plus in a season (Moses Malone — 31.1 in 1981-82).


- Harden became the fifth different player to average 30 or more points and eight or more assists per game over the course of a season, and the second player in the last two years to do so. Before this, no player had done so since Michael Jordan in 1988-89. Additionally, he is tied with Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook as the oldest players to accomplish the feat at age 28.

- Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Harden is averaging 10 assists per game. Only two other players have averaged more than 8.6 in that time.

- He attempted 727 two-pointers and 722 three-pointers, one of three players to attempt 700+ two- and three-point field goals in a single season, and the first player to do so twice. His 722 three-point attempts are the fourth most in a single season in NBA history.

- Harden hit 265 three-pointers this season, the ninth-most three-pointers hit by a player in a single season. He has hit 971 three-pointers since the start of the 2014-15 season. Only Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have hit more.

- Harden took 727 free throws in 2017-18, his fourth time leading the NBA in free-throw attempts and fifth time in the last six years. Only three players have led the NBA in that category more often than Harden.

- This season was the fifth time Harden has averaged 10 or more free throws attempted per game. He is one of 13 players 6-5 or shorter to do so over the course of a season.