LeBron wins NBA MVP for fourth time

In a near-unanimous vote, Miami Heat forward LeBron James was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player for the 2012-13 season on Sunday.

It is James' fourth MVP award overall, all coming in the last five seasons, thanks to garnering all but one of the 121 first-place votes cast for a total of 1,207 points.

Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder finished a distant second, taking the most second-place votes with 93 and a total of 765 points. Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks -- who was given the other first-place nod -- finished in third, 732 points back of James.

The 28-year-old James became the fifth player in league history to capture at least four MVP awards. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leads the way with six, followed by Michael Jordan and Bill Russell with five apiece. Wilt Chamberlain also garnered four.

James helped the Heat to a franchise-record 66 regular season victories by posting 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. He scored 2,036 points this season, the eighth 2,000-point total of his career, while also becoming the youngest player in NBA history to post eight different 2,000- point seasons. He also shot a career-high 56.5 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from 3-point range this season.

The former Cleveland Cavaliers franchise icon also took home Player of the Month honors in each of the first six months of the campaign, becoming the first player in league history to be so honored five straight times in a single season. In addition, James was named the NBA's top player of the week on six more occasions, adding to his all-time league-best total of 43.

The defending NBA champion Heat will begin the Eastern Conference semifinals Monday night at home against the Chicago Bulls.