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Kevin Garnett wins first NBA MVP award

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota's Kevin Garnett won his first Most Valuable Player award Monday, beating out Tim Duncan of San Antonio and Jermaine O'Neal of Indiana, the NBA announced.

Garnett, 27, got 1,219 points, including 120 of 123 possible first-place votes, in balloting by the Pro Basketball Writer's Association. Duncan, who won the award the past two years, got 716 votes while O'Neal was third with 523.

Garnett led Minnesota to a 58-24 record and the top seed in the West while averaging 24.2 points and led the league with 13.9 rebounds. He also joined Larry Bird as the only players to average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for five consecutive years.

Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said Monday Garnett has wanted to win the award since the team drafted him out of high school in 1995.

"When he came in the league nine years ago the No. 1 thing he said to myself and (team vice president) Kevin McHale is he wanted to be the best player in the league," Saunders said. 

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