NBA

December 20, 2017, 2:51 pm

NBA MVP rankings: Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James battle in Milwaukee

Antetokounmpo's Bucks held off James' Cavaliers, 119-116, on Tuesday nighttime, with both players making big plays behind the stretch.

NBA MVP rankings: Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James battle in Milwaukee
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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports' Jeff Zillgitt and AJ Neuharth-Keusch discourse how LeBron James is gunning for a 5th MVP title. USA TODAY Sports

A small complete two years ago, many would rich person laughed had we aforesaid LeBron James vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo would so soon be a pavilion matchup betwixt two of the NBA's top 3 MVP candidates. Not the James facet of it, of course, but the information that Antetokounmpo could rise from a possible superstar to a full-blown one so quickly.

Tuesday nighttime was no riant matter.

The showbehind made for must-see TV — Antetokounmpo's Milwaukee Bucks held off James' Cleveland Cavaliers, 119-116 — with both players making big plays behind the stretch, farther cementing their not yet (antonym) set-in-stone spots in our time period MVP rankings.

Those rankings are below, as voted on by USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick, Jeff Zillgitt, Michael Singer and AJ Neuharth-Keusch.

T-4. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors

Last week's ranking: No. 5

Season stats: 26.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.2 blocks, 51.5% shot

Durant, doing his champion Kobe Bryant impression not long after both of the Laker legend's jerseys were inactive Monday, barrel off his acold shot nighttime by descent all 4 of his shots in completetime — including the game-winning jumper in the final seconds — to lead Golden State to victory. Durant is averaging a league-champion 34.2 points in the five games since Stephen Curry went behind, as well as 10.4 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 3 blocks. 

KD

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