LA’s Candace Parker wins WNBA MVP

DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer
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Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker (3) is fouled by Minnesota Lynx forward Rachel Jarry (12) in the first half of a WNBA basketball game in Minneapolis, Sept. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs, File)

Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker (3) is fouled by Minnesota Lynx forward Rachel Jarry (12) in the first half of a WNBA basketball game in Minneapolis, Sept. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs, File)

Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker has won the WNBA MVP, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Parker will receive the award Thursday night in Los Angeles before the Sparks play the Phoenix Mercury in the opener of their Western Conference playoff series. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made.

Parker edged out Minnesota’s Maya Moore and Chicago’s Elena Delle Donne in one of the closest ballots in league history, the person told the AP. Parker finished with 234 points, Moore had 218 and Delle Donne 189. It’s the closest the top two players have been in the voting since Sheryl Swoopes edged Lauren Jackson by two points in 2005.

Parker and Moore each received 10 first-place votes from the 39-member national media panel.

The 27-year-old Parker averaged 17.9 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists in helping the Sparks (24-10) finish second in the Western Conference.

It’s the second MVP award for Parker, who won it her rookie year. Parker also won the All-Star game MVP this past July. She was runner-up to Tina Charles last season for the award.

Parker, who is still looking for her first WNBA championship, is the fifth player to earn multiple MVP awards, joining Jackson, Swoopes, Lisa Leslie and Cynthia Cooper.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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