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Stephen Curry Becomes the NBA’s First Unanimous MVP Winner

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By  | May 10, 2016 | 1:28p

Stephen Curry has officially earned his second consecutive MVP award following a historic campaign that saw his Golden State Warriors win an NBA record 73 games. In addition, he became the first unanimous winner in the league’s 61-year history, earning all 131 first-place votes.

Kawhi Leonard edged LeBron James for second place on the list. Russell Westbrook finished fourth and Kevin Durant was fifth.

Usually, even the most obvious MVP winners don’t earn a unanimous honor because there are a few contrarians that vote for someone else. In 2013, a single writer picked Carmelo Anthony over LeBron James for the honor, robbing James of a unanimous victory.

That did not happen this year, though. Instead, six different players earned second-place votes.

Curry followed up his More >

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Ben Simmons to Enter NBA Draft

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Jeff Goodman | ESPN Insider | 1:43 PM

LSU freshman Ben Simmons told ESPN that he will hire an agent and declare for the NBA draft.

“I’m making it official,” Simmons said late Sunday night.

The 6-foot-10 Australian averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game this past season for the Tigers, who finished a disappointing 19-14 overall and 11-7 in the SEC, failing to make the NCAA tournament.

LSU declined an invitation to play in the NIT.

Simmons entered the season as the top freshman in the country and was the only player to average more than 19 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.

According to numerous NBA executives, Simmons is expected to be taken either first or second in the June 23 NBA draft.

Duke freshman Brandon Ingram, according to several NBA executives, has closed the gap — but the majority told More >

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300: The Steph Curry Bailout Plan

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Ethan Sherwood Strauss, ESPN Staff Writer | 4:22 AM ET

OAKLAND, Calif. — After letting garbage time become crunch time, the Golden State Warriors closed out the Orlando Magic 119-113 for their NBA-record 45th consecutive regular-season home victory. This achievement brings a bifurcated response: There’s an acknowledgement of the incredible accomplishment, then a nod to the issues it’s overshadowing.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr summarized Golden State’s recent run with, “Steph is bailing us out an awful lot.” Monday night was illustrative of that issue, plus a reminder that there are worse bailout plans. As Golden State trundled along sans Andre Iguodala and with an ailing Draymond Green, Curry was a brilliant bulwark against failure. He scored 41 points, claimed 13 boards and hit seven 3-pointers, one of which was his 300th of the season. Curry dropped that one from 28 feet away, after torturing More >

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David Blatt Fired as Cavaliers Coach, per sources

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ESPN.com news services | 4:44 PM ET

The Cleveland Cavaliers have fired second-year coach David Blatt and are replacing him with assistant Tyronn Lue, according to ESPN sources and multiple reports.

The title-hopeful Cavaliers lead the Eastern Conference at 30-11 but were blown out by the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Monday. Blatt had lost support of the locker room over the past month, sources told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

Associate head coach Tyronn Lue, Blatt’s top assistant, signed a three-year contract Friday to be the team’s head coach, according to Yahoo! Sports, which also first reported Blatt’s firing.

LeBron James was not consulted before the Cavaliers made the move to dismiss Blatt and was informed of the decision Friday, sources told Windhorst. The decision to fire Blatt was “entirely” up to general manager David Griffin, a league source told ESPN.com.

Griffin is expected to speak to the media More >

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Brad Stevens’ Absence Reminds Struggling Celtics There Are Bigger Things Than Basketball

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Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer | 1:32 AM ET

The Boston Celtics lost for the fourth time in five tries with Thursday’s 101-92 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bulls during a rare national-TV broadcast.

When Boston won a season-high four consecutive games in late December, some wondered out loud if the Celtics might be the second-best team in the Eastern Conference. Ten days later, it’s clear the Bulls have submitted their claim to that title, while TNT’s Charles Barkley opined at halftime that the Celtics are “a 6-7-8 seed, at the most.”

It’s hard to argue with Barkley’s assessment. The Celtics endured yet another game in which their offense disappeared in the second half, allowing an opponent to race away. Boston led by double digits in the early going but found itself down one by halftime. The Celtics then shot 30.4 percent in the second More >

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