Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who led the team to the best regular-season record in NBA history, has won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for the second year in a row, the NBA announced today. He is the first unanimous winner in the award’s 61-season history. Curry, the 11th player to win back-to-back MVP awards, joins Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Steve Nash as the only guards to earn the honor in consecutive seasons.
Curry swept all 131 first-place votes (1,310 points), including 130 from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada, and one from the MVP fan vote.
The San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard finished second with 634 points, and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James was third with 631 points. The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook (486 points) and Kevin Durant (147) rounded out the top five. Players received 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five points for each third-place vote, three points for each fourth-place vote and one point for each fifth-place vote.
The 28-year-old Curry helped the Warriors finish a historic 73-9 by leading the NBA in scoring (30.1 ppg), three-pointers made (an NBA-record 402), free throw percentage (90.8) and steals (2.14 spg), along with averaging 6.7 assists and a career-high 5.4 rebounds in 79 games. He shot a career-high 50.4 percent from the field, the NBA’s highest mark among guards, and made 45.4 percent from three-point range, good for second in the league. Curry became the seventh qualifying player in NBA history to shoot at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from beyond the arc and 90 percent from the foul line.
Behind Curry, the reigning champion Warriors opened the season with 24 straight victories – one of many NBA records they broke on their way to the all-time single-season wins mark. They set NBA records for single-season road victories (34) and consecutive home regular-season wins (54, including 18 to finish last season). Golden State also became the first team in NBA history to go an entire season without losing back-to-back games or losing to the same team twice.
In yet another NBA record, the Warriors made 1,077 three-pointers, becoming the first team with 1,000. Curry powered the attack with his 402 three-pointers, shattering his own single-season league record of 286 set last season – an increase of 116. Along with leading the NBA in three-pointers made for the fourth season in a row, Curry extended his streak of regular-season games with a three-pointer to an active league record of 152 straight games.
Curry’s other accomplishments this season included:
· He became the fourth player in NBA history to average at least 30 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals in a season, joining Rick Barry (1974-75), Michael Jordan (three times) and Dwyane Wade (2008-09).
· He became the first Warriors player to lead the NBA in scoring since Barry in 1966-67.
· He improved his scoring average by 6.3 points from last season (23.8 ppg), the largest year-over-year increase in league history for a reigning Kia NBA MVP.
· He matched the NBA single-game record for three-pointers made, hitting 12 (including the last-second game-winner) in a 121-118 overtime victory over the Thunder on Feb. 27.
Curry receives the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which is named in honor of the NBA’s first commissioner, who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.