June 26 Sports Briefs

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Houston Rockets’ James 

Harden wins NBA MVP award

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Third time was the charm for James Harden.

The Houston Rockets star was voted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player after twice being runner-up, beating out four-time winner LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Pelicans at the NBA Awards.

Harden joined Michael Jordan as the only players to average at least 20 points, eight assists, five rebounds and 1.7 steals in a season.

He led the league in scoring, 3-pointers and 50-point games with four while helping the Rockets to an NBA-leading 65 wins.

James didn’t attend the show in Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport amid frenzied speculation about his future.

He has until Friday to tell the Cavaliers if he will pick up his $35.6 million option for next season or opt for free agency.

Harden, who is from Los Angeles, led his mother on stage before he accepted the trophy from Commissioner Adam Silver.

Dwane Casey won the NBA’s Coach of the Year award for his work with his former team, the Toronto Raptors. He was fired last month and has since become coach of the Detroit Pistons.

Casey led the Raptors to the No. 1 seed in the East for the first time in franchise history. Toronto won a team-record 59 games. Casey coached the East in the All-Star Game for the first time.

 

Tennis: Rafael Nadal retakes No. 1 ranking from Federer

LONDON (AP) — Rafael Nadal is back at No. 1 in the ATP rankings, retaking the top spot from Roger Federer after just one week.

Monday’s new order is the sixth change of the year at No. 1, the most since there were eight in 1999.

The record is 10 switches at No. 1 in 1983.

Federer still is expected to be seeded No. 1 for Wimbledon, where he won his record eighth championship a year ago.

The grass-court Grand Slam tournament’s seedings are scheduled to be announced Wednesday. Play begins next week.

Nadal holds a 50-point edge over Federer in the rankings and will hold onto No. 1 for at least the next three weeks.

Novak Djokovic rose five spots to No. 17 after reaching the final at Queen’s Club last week.

Borna Coric climbed 13 places to a career-best No. 21 thanks to his title at Halle, Germany, where he upset Federer in Sunday’s final.

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