James Harden says he feels like the MVP of the NBA following his latest dominant display in the Brooklyn Nets' 113-111 win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday.
Harden returned from neck soreness to score 44 points for the Nets, his largest haul since joining Brooklyn from the Houston Rockets in January.
He also contributed 14 rebounds and eight assists in a decisive performance.
"I feel like I am the MVP," Harden said. "I don't want to speak individually on myself. I'm just going to leave it at that.
"I just try to go out there every single night and bring my team-mates everything I can."
The 31-year-old guard, who averages the most minutes per game in 2020-21, tops the statistics for assists per game this season, with 11.2. He is also averaging 25.3 points and 7.9 rebounds.
Denver's Nikola Jokic, Philadelphia's Joel Embiid, Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lakers star LeBron James are among the favourites to win the MVP along with Harden.
Harden added: "Tonight, Detroit's game plan and schemes were to take away the lob pass and not let our bigs get lobs and shooters to get shots.
"That allowed me to get to the basket and shoot layups all night. Games are different and I just take what the defense gives me. The next game we might get more lobs than shots.
"Just play the game the right way and try to be efficient in doing it."