NBA News Wire
Durant, James head All-NBA First Team
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, the Most Valuable Player and winner of four scoring titles in five seasons, highlights the 2013-14 All-NBA First Team announced by the league Wednesday.
Durant was the lone unanimous selection, appearing on all 125 ballots as a First-Team pick while forward LeBron James of the Miami Heat garnered 124 First-Team votes.
Joining Durant and James on the First Team are guard Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, guard James Harden of the Houston Rockets and center Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls.
Harden and Noah captured First Team honors for the first time in their careers. Paul is an All-NBA First Team selection for the fourth time. Durant makes his fifth appearance on the First Team, while James earned his eighth All-NBA First Team nod.
Durant averaged a career-best 32.0 points to go with 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists, also a career high. In capturing his fourth scoring title, he joined Michael Jordan (10), Wilt Chamberlain (seven), George Gervin (four) and Allen Iverson (four) as the only players in league annals to win at least four scoring titles.
Durant shot .503 from the field, .391 from 3-point range, and .873 from the free throw line, leading all players in free throws made (703) and attempted (805). Durant authored two 50-point games, topped the 40-point mark on 14 occasions, and turned in 17 games with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds.
James shot a career-high 56.7 percent from the field this season, marking the seventh consecutive season he has improved his field goal percentage. He connected on 116 3-point field goals, the second straight season he has made over 100 3-point field goals while shooting at least 55 percent from the field. He posted his ninth 2,000-point season, becoming only the fourth player in NBA history to accomplish this feat, joining Karl Malone (12), Jordan (11) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (9).
Noah, who appeared in 80 of Chicago’s 82 games, ranked sixth in the NBA in rebounding (11.3 rpg), 12th in blocks (1.51 bpg) and added 1.24 steals. He was one of just three players (Detroit’s Andre Drummond and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis the others) to average at least 10.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals. Behind Noah, the Bulls held opponents to a .430 field goal percentage, second-stingiest in the league.
Paul led the NBA in assists (10.7 apg) and steals (2.48 spg), while averaging 19.1 points and 4.3 rebounds as the Clippers won a franchise-record 57 games. Paul became the seventh player in NBA history to top the 6,000-assist plateau before the end of his ninth season. He is only the fourth player in NBA history to reach 6,000 assists before his 29th birthday, joining Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas and John Stockton.
Harden finished fifth in the NBA in scoring (25.4 ppg), and added 6.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds. He was one of only two players (joining James) to average at least 25.0 points, 6.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds. He finished second in the NBA in free throws made (576), topped the 30-point mark in 24 games and registered two 40-plus outings. Harden also ranked fifth in the NBA in minutes (38.0 mpg).
The All-NBA Second Team consists of guards Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, forwards Blake Griffin of the Clippers and Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves and center Dwight Howard of the Rockets.
The All-NBA Third Team includes the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard and the Phoenix Suns’ Goran Dragic at guard, the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George and the Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge at forward and the Charlotte Hornets’ Al Jefferson at center.
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