Jokic, Embiid, Antetokounmpo finalists for NBA MVP honors

NEW YORK (AP) — Nikola Jokic is a finalist to win a second straight NBA MVP award, along with two-time winner Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid.

The NBA unveiled the top-three finishers in voting for its individual awards Sunday, with the expected names in the running for the marquee award.

Jokic, the Denver Nuggets center, ended Antetokounmpo’s two-year reign last season and was every bit as good this season. Embiid, hoping to join them in the MVP club, led the NBA in scoring.

The winners of the awards will be announced during the postseason.

The other finalists are:

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Mikal Bridges (Phoenix), Rudy Gobert (Utah), Marcus Smart (Boston).

COACH OF THE YEAR

Taylor Jenkins (Memphis), Erik Spoelstra (Miami), Monty Williams (Phoenix).

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER

Darius Garland (Cleveland), Ja Morant (Memphis), Dejounte Murray (San Antonio).

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Scottie Barnes (Toronto), Cade Cunningham (Detroit), Evan Mobley (Cleveland).

SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR

Tyler Herro (Miami), Cam Johnson (Phoenix), Kevin Love (Cleveland).

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