Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant was named league MVP on Tuesday morning, collecting 119 first-place votes.

It had been widely anticipated throughout the league that Durant would earn the award for the first time in his career.

Heat star LeBron James was second, with six first-place votes, while Blake Griffin, Joakim Noah and James Harden rounded out the top five.

The Thunder advanced to the next round with a 120-109 victory in Game 7 Saturday against the Memphis Grizzlies. Durant scored a team-high 33 points in the win.

By avoiding a Game 7 defeat, Durant dodged the most uncomfortable MVP news conference since Dirk Nowitzki's in 2007. Nowitzki was forced to collect his MVP trophy in '07 after the Dallas Mavericks, who went 67-15 that season, were bounced in the first round by the Golden State Warriors.