Sparks guard Brittney Sykes was named WNBA initial-group all-protection on Sunday immediately after major the league in steals throughout the frequent year.

Sykes followed up a second-group all-defensive range previous season with vocation highs in steals (1.8) and rebounds (4.6) for every sport when anchoring the Sparks defense that completed 3rd in defensive score and next in details permitted per game. The Sparks (12-20) had been removed from playoff rivalry immediately after losing to the Dallas Wings in the frequent-season finale but had stayed in the postseason hunt even with considerable accidents for the reason that of their defense, which held teams to 77.1 factors for every match and pressured a league-substantial 18.2 turnovers.

“I went for [defensive player of the year] and arrived up ‘short,’ ” Sykes claimed in a assertion by means of the Sparks. “Blessed to have humbly attained initial group. I value my coaches, my team and my opponents for producing me much better this calendar year!”

Sykes been given 6 votes for defensive player of the calendar year, finishing 2nd to Minnesota heart Sylvia Fowles. Fowles rated 2nd in the league in steals (1.8) and blocks (1.8) and 3rd in defensive rebounds (8.) to headline the league’s all-defensive first crew, which contains Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones and Briann January and Brianna Turner of the Phoenix Mercury.

The next all-defensive workforce featured Seattle’s Breanna Stewart, Connecticut’s Brionna Jones and Jasmine Thomas, Phoenix middle Brittney Griner and Washington guard Ariel Atkins.

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