Back-to-back titles, and Finals MVPs, for Kevin Durant - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Back-to-back titles, and Finals MVPs, for Kevin Durant

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio). Fans cheer for Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) as he warms up for Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals between the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio). Fans cheer for Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) as he warms up for Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals between the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Cleveland.
(AP Photo/Tony Dejak). Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers' Rodney Hood in the first half of Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak). Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant shoots over Cleveland Cavaliers' Rodney Hood in the first half of Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Cleveland.
(AP Photo/Tony Dejak). Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with teammates following Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Cleveland. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 108-85 and sw... (AP Photo/Tony Dejak). Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with teammates following Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Cleveland. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 108-85 and sw...

By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Basketball Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) - Kevin Durant went back-to-back, twice.

It's now two straight NBA championships for the Golden State Warriors, and two consecutive NBA Finals MVP awards for the forward who played a huge role in getting them to those titles.

Durant scored 20 points in the Game 4 clincher Friday night, a 108-85 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers - but his series will be remembered most for what he did in Game 3. Durant scored 43 points in that game, including a 33-foot 3-pointer in the final minute to all but clinch the win for the Warriors.

Durant averaged 28.8 points in the series, along with 10.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists.

"It's just about the journey, all season," Durant said. "Getting up every day, going to work with these guys, it's amazing. The environment is incredible. It's good for you to be around guys like this. It helps you become a better basketball player and a better man."

There were 11 voters for the MVP award; Durant got seven votes, Stephen Curry - who still doesn't have a Finals MVP - got the other four.

"Does it matter? Does it? Does it?" Durant asked. "We won two championships. We just won back-to-back. I don't think anybody's even worried about that type of stuff."

Durant becomes the 11th player to win Finals MVP twice, joining six-time winner Michael Jordan, three-timers Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan and LeBron James, and two-timers Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Willis Reed and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

He's also the sixth player to win it in consecutive years, with Jordan, O'Neal, James, Olajuwon and Bryant being the others.

Since 2009 the award has been named for Celtics legend Bill Russell, the 11-time champion who surely would have won the award several times if it existed in his long run of finals dominance. The Finals MVP was first handed out in 1969 - Russell's final season with the Celtics.

Durant is one of 31 players to win the award.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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