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Damian Lillard finishes outside of top-5 in MVP voting originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

Tuesday, the NBA announced the winner of the 2020-21 MVP award.

With 91 first-place votes out of 101 votes, Denver Nuggets starting center Nikola Jokic earns his first NBA MVP honor.

At No. 41 overall, Jokic becomes the lowest draft pick in NBA history to win the MVP award. 

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As for Trail Blazers six-time All-Star, Damian Lillard, who was in the MVP conversation midway through the season, he finished with a total of 38 points, good for sixth in this year’s overall voting results. 

Here’s how the voting shook out:

  1. Nikola Jokic (971 total points)

  2. Joel Embiid (586 total points)

  3. Stephen Curry (453 total points)

  4. Giannis Antetokounmpo (348 total points)

  5. Chris Paul (139 total points)

  6. Luka Doncic (42 total points)

  7. Damian Lillard (38 total points)

  8. Julius Randle (20 total points)

Lillard finished with one third place vote and five fourth place votes. The rest of his votes were casted as fifth place votes.  

It was in mid Feb., when Lillard really began to make a case for his MVP candidacy.

Lillard was doing more than just keep the Blazers above water when they were without two of their starters in CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic.

In six games played in early Feb., Lillard was averaging over 30 points and seven assists per game, while the Blazers continued to win despite their depleted roster.

The Blazers went 5-1 during that stretch which included a Lillard go-ahead bucket against Doncic and the Mavericks on Feb. 14 in Dallas. 

Lillard finished with 34 and 11 in the win.

At the time, Lillard told Jason Quick of The Athletic that he believed he should be in the conversation

“I see myself at the top of the league,” Lillard told The Athletic in mid-Feb. “I’m one of the best players in this league, and I feel like I’m on that level. And the way our team is playing given our circumstances makes it even more obvious to me.”

But it was Jokic with the consistent MVP play all season long as Lillard finished the year averaging 28.8 points, 7.5 assists, and 4.2 rebounds with Portland ending the year at 42-30.