LeBron James is expected to receive his fourth NBA Most Valuable Player… (Matt Slocum / Associated…)
LeBron James is getting his fourth Most Valuable Player award — and the only mystery left is whether the vote was unanimous.
The Miami Heat star will be introduced Sunday as the award winner, according to a person familiar with the results and who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the league has not publicly announced this year's recipient. James will become the fifth player with at least four MVP awards, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.
No one has ever swept every first-place vote in the NBA's MVP balloting. After the season he had, James could be the first.
James averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists this season, shooting a career-best 56%. It was no surprise that he won the award, and given the timetable for Miami's next game — the Heat don't open Eastern Conference semifinal play until Monday night against Brooklyn or Chicago — it had been widely assumed for several days that Sunday would be the day.
If tradition holds, NBA Commissioner David Stern will then present James with the trophy again Monday night in front of the Miami fans.
Mickelson leads at Quail Hollow
Phil Mickelson has figured out the secret to the greens at Quail Hollow. Or maybe he's just had a lot of good bounces for two days.
Mickelson opened with a pair of 15-foot birdie putts, dropped in a 40-foot putt at the turn and made back-to-back birdies late in his round Friday. He finished with a five-under 67 for a two-shot lead going into the weekend at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C.
Nick Watney played with Mickelson the opening two rounds and looks efficient, going bogey-free on the back nine. He had a 70 and was at seven-under 137, along with George McNeill (68) and Scott Gardiner, the 37-year-old tour rookie who had missed eight straight cuts coming into the Quail Hollow. Gardiner had a 67.
Rory McIlroy struggled with the speed of the greens but rallied on the front nine with three birdies for a 71. Lee Westwood had a 68. They were in a group at six-under 138.
Mike Goodes shot a three-under 69 in wind that gusted to 30 mph to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Champions Tour's Insperity Championship at the Woodlands, Texas.
Gene Sauers had the lead at four under going into the par-four 17th, but hit a nine-iron into the water for a double bogey and finished at 70. Brian Henninger, Mark Brooks, Hal Sutton, Michael Allen and Mark Bucek were two strokes back at 71.
Thai teenager Ariya Jutanugarn followed her opening seven-under 64 with an even-par 71 in windy conditions to hold onto the lead in the LPGA Tour's Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va.
The 17-year-old Jutanugarn is one shot ahead of Stacy Lewis and Angela Stanford.
Sandra Gal, 2007 winner Suzann Pettersen and two-time winner Cristie Kerr were two shots back.
X Games star Travis Pastrana won his first career Nationwide Series pole at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
The 10-time X Games gold medalist-turned-NASCAR driver topped qualifying for Saturday's Aaron's 312 with a fast lap of 176.500 mph on the 2.66-mile track.
Austin Dillon will start second, followed by Trevor Bayne, Danica Patrick and Justin Allgaier.
Daniel Brands beat top-seeded Janko Tipsarevic, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, at the BMW Open in Munich, Germany, to set up an all-German semifinal with defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber. Kohlschreiber defeated Viktor Troicki of Serbia, 6-3, 7-6 (3).
Ivan Dodig of Croatia his upset Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine, 6-4, 6-4, to reach the final four. Dodig will face third-seeded Tommy Haas, who defeated Florian Mayer, 6-4, 6-1.
UCLA tight end Joseph Fauria is among six undrafted free agents the Detroit Lions added to their roster.