In the closest voting since 2005, Los Angeles forward/center Candace Parker edged Lynx forward Maya Moore to win the WNBA’s Most Valuable Player Award. Parker, who won the award for the second time in her six-year career, received 234 points from a national panel of 39 sportswriters and broadcasters. Moore had 218 points. Chicago rookie Elena Delle Donne was third with 189 points. It was the closest finish since Sheryl Swoopes beat out Lauren Jackson by two points in 2005.

Both Parker and Moore received 10 first-place points.

Sylvia Fowles of Chicago and Angel McCoughtry of Atlanta rounded out the top five. Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen finished eighth.

Parker was sixth in the league in scoring (17.9), seventh in rebounding (8.7) and fourth in blocks (1.8), helping the Sparks to a 24-10 record, second in the Western Conference behind the 26-8 Lynx.

Parker, who was rookie of the year and MVP in 2008, will receive $15,000 and a trophy, which was awarded before the Sparks’ playoff game with Phoenix on Thursday in Los Angeles.

Kent Youngblood