It comes as no surprise, but the NBA decided to finally make it official Thursday, naming Oklahoma City guard James Harden as Sixth Man of the Year by a landslide.
The last game Harden played, he schooled the Mavs with one drive to the rim after another, scoring 15 of his game-high 29 points in the fourth quarter of the Game 4 clincher.
Harden, the third overall pick in the 2009 draft out of Arizona State, led all NBA reserves in scoring (16.8 points per game) in helping Oklahoma City finish with the NBA’s third-best record (47-19). The Thunder await the winner of the Denver Nuggets-Los Angeles Lakers series in the West semifinals.
Harden received 584 of a possible 595 points, including 115 of a possible 119 first-place votes, from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Lou Williams, who led the Philadelphia 76ers in scoring (14.9 ppg) despite not starting a single game, finished second with 231 points. Terry was a distant third with 81 points (20 second-place votes, 21 third-place votes).
Terry averaged 15.1 points per game during the season, shooting 43 percent overall and 37.8 percent from beyond the arc. His scoring average dipped to 13.8 in the first-round playoff loss. Terry, 34, now heads into free agency after eight seasons in Dallas.