Brittney Griner named WNBA Defensive Player of the Year

Phoenix center Brittney Griner makes one of her WNBA-record 129 blocks during the regular season.

Pat Shanahan/AP

Phoenix’s Sandy Brondello is the WNBA’s coach of the year for guiding the Mercury to a league-record 29 wins this season, and Mercury center Brittney Griner is the defensive player of the year.

The WNBA announced they’ll receive their awards Friday night in Phoenix before the Mercury host Los Angeles in the Western Conference semifinals opener.

Brondello and Griner won in landslides. The first-year coach with the Mercury received 33 of the 38 votes. She finished ahead of Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve and Washington’s Mike Thibault, who got two each. Atlanta’s Michael Cooper got the other vote.

Griner had 31 of the 38 votes. Atlanta’s Sancho Lyttle finished second.

The second-year star broke the league’s single-season shot block record with 129, including 11 in one game against Tulsa on June 29.