LeBron, Harden, A.D. finalists for MVP Award

LeBron James of the Cavaliers is chasing a fifth career MVP, while Anthony Davis of the Pelicans is going for both MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. The two will have to fight it out with James Harden for the league’s top honor.

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers is one of three finalists for the NBA’s 2018 Most Valuable Player Award, the league announced Wednesday.

James, Houston’s James Harden and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis are the three finalists for the award, which will be selected by a panel of 100 media members. Fans will have an opportunity to vote for several awards.

The results will announced during a televised show in Los Angeles on June 25. All awards are based on regular-season performance, only.

The Rookie of the Year finalists are Ben Simmons of Philadelphia, Donovan Mitchell of Utah and Jayson Tatum of Boston.

The finalists for the other awards are:

* Defensive Player of the Year — Davis (Pelicans), Joel Embiid (76ers), Rudy Gobert (Jazz).

* Coach of the Year — Dwane Casey (Toronto Raptors), Quin Snyder (Jazz), Brad Stevens (Celtics).

* Most Improved Player — Clint Capela (Rockets), Spencer Dinwiddie (Brooklyn Nets), Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers).

* Sixth Man of the Year — Eric Gordon (Rockets), Lou Williams (LA Clippers), Fred VanVleet (Raptors).

James, who has won the MVP Award four times, had another tremendous year in this, his 15th NBA season. At 33 years old, James averaged 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game, shooting 54 percent from the field. He played in all 82 games of the regular season for the first time in his career.

If James captures the award, he will join Bill Russell and Michael Jordan with five MVPs. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all-time leader with six.

James finished fourth in the MVP voting last season, behind winner Russell Westbrook, Harden and San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard.

Harden led the Rockets to a league-best 65 wins, leading the league in scoring (30.4 points per game) and dishing out 8.8 assists per contest.

Davis was second in the league in scoring (28.1), fifth in rebounding (11.1) and first in blocked shots (2.6), stepping up his game even more once fellow Pelicans big man DeMarcus Cousins went down with a torn Achilles’ tendon.

Other honors to be doled out June 25 included executive of the year, the sportsmanship award, the lifetime achievement award, the teammate of the year and the community-service award.

Fans will have an opportunity to vote for awards such as dunk, assist, blocked shot and clutch shot of the year.