Spurs' Leonard wins NBA Finals MVP - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Spurs' Leonard wins NBA Finals MVP

Posted: Updated:
San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dunks against the Miami Heat during the first half in Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals on Sunday, June 15, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dunks against the Miami Heat during the first half in Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals on Sunday, June 15, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dunks against the Miami Heat during the first half in Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals on Sunday, June 15, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, pool) San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dunks against the Miami Heat during the first half in Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals on Sunday, June 15, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, pool)
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard could have been devastated by losing last season's NBA Finals.

Instead, he vowed to get better.

Just think — the San Antonio Spurs' youngest star is only getting started. He's a champion now, with the Spurs beating the Miami Heat 104-87 on Sunday night in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, finishing off a 4-1 triumph. And after watching the Heat celebrate last season, Leonard was the pick as MVP of the series, accepting his award from 11-time champion Bill Russell.

"Everybody is just living in the moment right now," Leonard said. "Really don't know what's going on."

He'll figure it out quick. After all, the Spurs know titles — this one being their fifth since 1999.

When Commissioner Adam Silver announced Leonard as the MVP, he was mobbed by his teammates and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich roared with laughter, knowing Leonard would have to do what he hates most — talk about himself.

"Right now, it's just surreal to me," Leonard said. "I have a great group of guys behind me."

Leonard had 22 points and 10 rebounds, his third straight big game in the series. He fouled out in the fourth quarter, which was barely noticed after the job he did helping keep LeBron James in some sort of check over the final three quarters.

When it was over — actually, a few seconds before it was over — James led a group of Heat players down to the Spurs' bench for the first round of congratulatory hugs.

The first one he gave, and rightly so, was to Leonard. It was James taking the trophy from Russell in each of the last two seasons, after Miami's titles.

This time, the night belonged to Leonard, a 22-year-old who the Spurs have long thought was the heir apparent to the Big 3 of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.

"The first two games, he didn't play so well," James said about Leonard. "I thought he attacked more in the last three games, shot the ball extremely well."

Added Heat guard Dwyane Wade: "It's like he just played free. ... He's the future of this team."

The Big 3 in San Antonio is still championship-good.

https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/478394491280564224

But their key guy now might be Leonard, who just took over this series.

"He's a great learner and he's super competitive, has a drive to be the best that's really uncommon in our league," Popovich said. "He walks the walk. I mean, he's there early, he's there late. He wants more. He wants me and the coaches to push him. So I just talked to him about not being in that defer sort of stage. The hell with Tony, the hell with Timmy, the hell with Manu, you play the game. You are the man."

https://twitter.com/GoAztecs/status/478371585212944384

In this series, he absolutely was. Leonard averaged 17.8 points on 61 percent shooting. And he became the youngest Finals MVP since Duncan won it for the Spurs in 1999.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • SportsMore>>

  • MLB: Hader must take sensitivity training after tweets

    MLB: Hader must take sensitivity training after tweets

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 1:23 PM EDT2018-07-18 17:23:29 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 7:53 AM EDT2018-07-19 11:53:09 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon). Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader (71) throws during the eighth inning at the Major League Baseball All-star Game, Tuesday, July 17, 2018 in Washington.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader (71) throws during the eighth inning at the Major League Baseball All-star Game, Tuesday, July 17, 2018 in Washington.
    Major League Baseball says Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader will be required to go through sensitivity training after racist and homophobic tweets of his resurfaced during the All-Star Game. 
    Major League Baseball says Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader will be required to go through sensitivity training after racist and homophobic tweets of his resurfaced during the All-Star Game. 
  • Constant action but same result at Tour: Sky domination

    Constant action but same result at Tour: Sky domination

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 12:07 PM EDT2018-07-18 16:07:17 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 6:54 AM EDT2018-07-19 10:54:38 GMT
    (AP Photo/Peter Dejong). Britain's Geraint Thomas celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the eleventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 108.5 kilometers (67.4 miles) with start in Albertville and finish in La Rosiere Espace San Ber...(AP Photo/Peter Dejong). Britain's Geraint Thomas celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the eleventh stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 108.5 kilometers (67.4 miles) with start in Albertville and finish in La Rosiere Espace San Ber...
    British rider Geraint Thomas won the first summit finish of the Tour de France and claimed the yellow jersey on Wednesday with Team Sky asserting its dominance. 
    British rider Geraint Thomas won the first summit finish of the Tour de France and claimed the yellow jersey on Wednesday with Team Sky asserting its dominance. 
  • British Open presents tough test with no clear answers

    British Open presents tough test with no clear answers

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 2:27 PM EDT2018-07-18 18:27:25 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 1:27 AM EDT2018-07-19 05:27:24 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jon Super). Tiger Woods of the US plays out of a bunker on the 13th hole during a practice round ahead of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Wednesday July 18, 2018.(AP Photo/Jon Super). Tiger Woods of the US plays out of a bunker on the 13th hole during a practice round ahead of the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Wednesday July 18, 2018.
    British Open at Carnoustie presents a difficult test with no clear answers. 
    British Open at Carnoustie presents a difficult test with no clear answers. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.