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James Harden: Houston Rockets guard named Most Valuable Player at NBA Awards

Houston Rockets point guard James Harden thanked his mother for being his “backbone” as he was crowned Most Valuable Player at the 2018 NBA Awards.

The 28-year-old beat the Cleveland Cavaliers’ four-time MVP LeBron James and the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis to the prestigious award.

This is the first time Harden has claimed the MVP award, and he is the third Rockets player to win it.

Harden’s mother Monja joined him on stage as he collected his award.

“We only get one life and I’m happy she’s my mom,” said Harden.

“I’m not getting emotional, I’m not doing all that, but she’s my backbone.”

Harden scored an average of 30.4 points per game last season, adding 8.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game.

The Rockets won the Western Conference but were beaten by eventual NBA champions Golden State Warriors in the play-offs.

Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, while Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert won the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Dwane Casey was crowned Coach of the Year after guiding the Toronto Raptors to first place in the Eastern Conference.

He was sacked by the Raptors in May following their second consecutive second-round loss to the Cavs.

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