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Saturday, May 3, 2014
Sources: Kevin Durant will be MVP

By Marc Stein
ESPN.com

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant is expected to be named league MVP early next week, according to sources close to the situation.

Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is poised to collect his first league MVP trophy, according to sources.

It had been widely anticipated throughout the league that Durant would earn the award for the first time in his career. The most likely scenario, sources said, is a Tuesday news conference to announce Durant's win, followed by a pregame ceremony before Oklahoma City's home game Wednesday night in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.

The Thunder advanced to the next round with a 120-109 victory in Game 7 Saturday against the Memphis Grizzlies. Durant scored a team-high 33 points in the win.

By avoiding a Game 7 defeat, Durant dodged the most uncomfortable MVP news conference since Dirk Nowitzki's in 2007. Nowitzki was forced to collect his MVP trophy in '07 after the Dallas Mavericks, who went 67-15 that season, were bounced in the first round by the Golden State Warriors.

Durant led the league in scoring during the regular season with 32 points per game. He would become the first player to win both the scoring title and MVP award in the same season since Allen Iverson did it in 2000-01, according to ESPN's Stats & Information.

The NBA decided to take a week off from the awards circuit in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal. Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford is scheduled to receive his Sixth Man Award next week, and Philadelphia 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams will be named Rookie of the Year, according to ESPN and multiple reports.