NBA Awards honor James Harden, Ben Simmons, Lou Williams

James Harden arrives at “Imma Be a Star” Block Party at Audubon Middle School on a firetruck. More

James Harden arrives at “Imma Be a Star” Block Party at Audubon Middle School on a firetruck. More

He led the Rockets to a franchise-record 65 victories, which was also good for the top mark in the National Basketball Association.

James, a finalist this season after falling outside the top 3 in 2017, finished behind Houston Rockets star James Harden for this year's MVP, which was announced Monday night during the 2018 NBA Awards on TNT. Durant was the highest Warriors vote-getter, finishing seventh in voting behind Harden, James, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Westbrook and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

This is the 28-year-old Los Angeles native's second National Basketball Association award, having been named Sixth Man of the Year in 2012 as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Harden averaged an NBA-best 30.4 points per game (he was only the fourth player ever to average 30+ points on a 65-win team), still averaged 8.8 assists per game, and led the best offense in the National Basketball Association last season. Moses Malone won it twice as a Rocket in 1979 and 1982, and Hakeem Olajuwon took victory in 1994. The Defensive Player of the Year went to center Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. "I'll see you all next year".

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The Frenchman averaged 13.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 56 games to earn his second straight NBA All-Defensive first-team selection. Casey led the Raptors to the No. 1 seed in the East for the first time in franchise history after winning a team-record 59 games. Casey beat out Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens and Jazz coach Quin Snyder for the honor.

He was sacked by the Raptors in May following their second consecutive second-round loss to the Cavs. Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams bested Gordon, and Capela was edged by Pacers all-star Victor Oladipo. Former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo received the Sager Strong Award, named for the late Turner Sports broadcaster.

The 6-foot-5 guard also posted the first 60-point triple-double performance in National Basketball Association history - 60 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds against the Orlando Magic.

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