James Harden one of three nominees for NBA's Most Valuable Player award

James Harden one of three nominees for NBA's Most Valuable Player award

The standout award is, of course, the MVP honor and the trio of James, Harden and Davis has separated themselves from the rest of the pack with their performances in the regular season. Harden is considered a near-lock to win his first MVP award, after finishing as runner-up in 2015 and 2017.

The final three are James harden of the Houston Rockets, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans. James' staggering list of regular season statistics included: averaging a team-high 27.5 points (3rd in NBA) on.542 shooting from the field (14th in NBA), a career-high tying 8.6 rebounds (15th in NBA), a career-high 9.1 assists (2nd in NBA), 1.41 steals and 0.87 blocks in 36.9 minutes.

Wednesday night before tip-off of game two of the Western Conference Finals, the National Basketball Association announced the three finalists for the league's highest individual honor.

James, who at 33 produced one of the best seasons of his outstanding career, is in the running for a 5th career MVP title.

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James led the league in minutes played per game as he helped the inconsistent Cavaliers into 4th place in the Eastern Conference. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all-time leader with 6.

The finalists in all categories were determined by voting by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

Joel Embiid, Rudy Gobert and Davis have been named as the three men competing for the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Ben Simmons has been shortlisted for the NBA's Rookie of the Year award, along with Utah's Donovan Mitchell and Boston sensation Jayson Tatum.

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