Giannis, Harden, Paul George all finalists for MVP

Reigning NBA MVP James Harden of the Houston Rockets is one of three finalists for the award for the 2018-19 season, the league announced Friday.

Joining Harden, who led the league in scoring with 36.1 points per game, in the top three are Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Antetokounmpo, the only player out of the three whose team is still competing in the postseason, led the Bucks to a league-best 60 wins, ranked third in the league in scoring (27.1 points), sixth in rebounds (12.5) and 10th in blocked shots (1.5) per game.

George led the league in steals (2.2), while putting up career numbers in points (28.0), rebounds (8.2) and assists (4.1) per game. Antetokounmpo and George were also announced as finalist for Defensive Player of the Year, joining last year’s winner, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz, in the top three.

The league announced the finalists for all six annual awards, based on voting results from a global panel of print and television media, prior to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Bucks and the Toronto Raptors.

Rounding out the rest of the awards finalists are:

• Los Angeles Clippers teammates Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell joining the Indiana Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis for Sixth Man

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks and his draft night trade partner, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, joining Phoenix Suns No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton for Rookie of the Year

• The Denver Nuggets’ Mike Malone joining two former Coach of the Year winners in Mike Budenholzer of the Bucks and Doc Rivers of the Clippers

• The Raptors’ Pascal Siakam competing with De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings and D’Angelo Russell of the Brooklyn Nets for Most Improved Player

The award winners will be revealed at the league’s annual awards show on June 24, hosted by Shaquille O’Neal in Los Angeles.

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