Catchings gets honor for third time

Updated: September 25, 2009, 8:30 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings has been named the WNBA's defensive player of the year for the third time.

Catchings won in a landslide with 34 votes on Friday. Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker and Atlanta Dream center Erika de Souza both received two votes and two other players got a single vote.

Catchings also won the award in 2005 and 2006. She joins Sheryl Swoopes as the only three-time winners.

Catchings' 99 steals this season were one shy of the WNBA's single-season record of 100 set by New York's Teresa Weatherspoon in 1998.

Catchings led the league in steals per game (2.91) for the fifth time.

The Fever host Detroit in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night. They trail 1-0 in the best-of-three series.

Catchings also earned her fifth consecutive appearance on the All-Defensive first team. Minnesota center/forward Nicky Anosike, Seattle Storm forward/center Lauren Jackson, Storm guard Tanisha Wright and Fever guard Tully Bevilaqua are also on the first team.

Los Angeles Sparks center Lisa Leslie, Atlanta Dream forwards Sancho Lyttle and Angel McCoughtry, Detroit Shock guard Deanna Nolan, Washington Mystics guard Alana Beard and Sparks guard/forward Candace Parker were named to the second team.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.