James Harden Becomes Third Rocket to Become MVP

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During tonight’s NBA Awards on TNT, Houston Rockets guard James Harden was named NBA Most Valuable Player for the 2017-18 season.  He is the third player in franchise history to receive the award, joining Moses Malone (1978-79 and 1981-82) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-94).

The MVP award was selected by a wide panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters.  Harden finished second in voting for the award in both 2014-15 and 2016-17.  Harden is also the only player to be a unanimous All-NBA First Team selection in each of the past two seasons.

The Rockets won a franchise-best 65 games in 2017-18, with Harden leading the league in scoring (30.3 ppg) while ranking third in assists (8.8 apg).  He became the fourth player to have averaged at least 30.0 points on a team that won 65-plus games, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Stephen Curry, and Michael Jordan (twice).  Harden is the only one of those players to have averaged at least 30.0 ppg and 7.0 apg.

RELATED: The efforts to bring Lebron James to the Houston Rockets. 

Harden joined Michael Jordan (1988-89) as the only players to have averaged at least 30.0 points, 8.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.70 steals in a single season since steals became an official statistic in 1973-74.  Harden has averaged at least 29.0 points and 7.0 assists in each of the past three seasons, joining Oscar Robertson (7 times) as the only players to have done so more than twice.

Since joining the Rockets in 2012-13, Harden has the highest combined total of points, rebounds, and assists of any player in the league.  He also ranks third in 3-pointers made and fourth in steals over that span.

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