AP Source: Griner’s WNBA Defensive Player of Year

AP Source: Griner’s WNBA Defensive Player of Year

In this May 27, 2013, file photo, Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner dunks against the Chicago Sky in the second half during a WNBA basketball game in Phoenix. Griner brings her slam-dunking skills to Madison Square Garden for the first time, hoping to take her team a step closer to the WNBA playoffs and a possible league record 30-win season.  (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
In this May 27, 2013, file photo, Phoenix Mercury’s Brittney Griner dunks against the Chicago Sky in the second half during a WNBA basketball game in Phoenix. Griner brings her slam-dunking skills to Madison Square Garden for the first time, hoping to take her team a step closer to the WNBA playoffs and a possible league record 30-win season. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer

A person close to the situation says Phoenix’s Brittney Griner has won the WNBA defensive player of the year award.

The person says Griner will receive the award Friday night in Phoenix before the Mercury face Los Angeles in the first game of the Western Conference semifinals. The person spoke to The Associated Press late Thursday night on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made.

Griner set a WNBA record with 129 blocks to help the Mercury win a league record 29 games. The second-year player averaged 15.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.8 blocks this season. She blocked 11 shots in one game against Tulsa on June 29.

She received 31 of the 38 votes from a national media panel of sports writers and broadcasters. Atlanta’s Sancho Lyttle finished second.

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