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James near-unanimous choice as league MVP

The SportsXchange

Miami Heat forward LeBron James was named the NBA Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year and the fourth time in the past five seasons in the results of voting announced Sunday.

James was one vote short of being a unanimous selection. He received 120 of 121 first-place votes and 1,207 points in the balloting among sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada and from online fan participation via NBA.com.

Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (765) was second and New York's Carmelo Anthony (475) finished third. Anthony, the league scoring champion, received the other first-place vote.

Rounding out the top five were Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (289) and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (184).

James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists this season and shot a career-high 56 percent from the field for a Miami team that compiled the league's best record at 66-16.

James became the fifth player in NBA history with four MVP awards, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six), Michael Jordan (five), Bill Russell (five) and Wilt Chamberlain (four).

"I'm a historian of the game," James said. "I know the game. I know these guys paved the way for myself and the rest of us."

James, 28, previously won the MVP award in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

"I don't know my ceiling," James said. "I don't stop trying to improve my game."
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