LeBron James: Durant deserves to win NBA MVP award

FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2014 file photo, Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) puts pressure on Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) during the fourth period of an NBA basketball game in Miami. James says Durant would be a deserving winner of the NBA MVP award. It's expected that Durant will be announced as this season's MVP later this week. (AP PhotoAlan Diaz, File)

Thunder star Kevin Durant wins first MVP award

FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2014 file photo, Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) puts pressure on Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) during the fourth period of an NBA basketball game in Miami. James says Durant would be a deserving winner of the NBA MVP award. It's expected that Durant will be announced as this season's MVP later this week. (AP PhotoAlan Diaz, File)

MIAMI (AP) -- LeBron James of the Miami Heat says Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant would be a deserving winner of the NBA MVP award.

It's expected that Durant will be announced as this season's MVP later this week. James has lauded Durant's play this season several times in recent weeks, doing so again on Monday.

James says: ''Much respect to him and he deserves it. He had a big-time MVP season.''

James is a four-time winner of the league's MVP award, taking the honor in each of the previous two seasons.

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