NBA MVP: James Harden, Giannis and Paul George named finalists

The finalists for this season's NBA MVP award have been named, with Paul George, James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo in the running.

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo   -  Getty Images

Oklahoma City Thunder's Paul George, Houston Rockets star James Harden and Milwaukee Bucks sensation Giannis Antetokounmpo are the finalists for the NBA's MVP award.

The league announced the trio of finalists on Friday, with the winner to be announced at the NBA Awards on June 24.

George averaged 28 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game for the Thunder. He also led the league in steals (2.21) and is a top contender for Defensive Player of the Year.

Oklahoma City lost 4-1 to the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference first round.

Reigning MVP Harden led the NBA in scoring, averaging 36.1 points per game, which was the highest mark since Michael Jordan averaged 37.1 points in the 1986-87 season.

Harden also trailed George in steals, finishing with a second-best mark of 2.03, as the Rockets advanced to the Conference semifinals before going down to the Golden State Warriors in six games.

Antetokounmpo helped the Bucks to the best record in the NBA in 2018-19. Milwaukee finished the season at 60-22 and its Greek superstar averaged 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds on a staggering career-high 57.8 per cent shooting.

He led the Bucks in every major statistical category but blocks and is also a top pick for Defensive Player of the Year. He was one of the most physically imposing players the league has ever seen this season. 

The Bucks lead the second-seeded Toronto Raptors 2-0 in the Eastern Conference finals.

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