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 Friday, May 5
Mourning, Bryant, Garnett, Duncan also named news services

NEW YORK -- One day after collecting his first playoff triple-double, Seattle SuperSonics guard Gary Payton is celebrating his seventh selection to the NBA All-Defensive First Team.

Gary Payton

Payton, known as "The Glove" for his defensive prowess, was the top vote-getter with 52 of a possible 56 points and 24 First Team votes from a panel of the NBA's 29 coaches.

Center Alonzo Mourning of the Miami Heat, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year last season, was second with 16 First Team votes and 42 points.

Mourning's average of 3.72 blocks led the NBA in the regular season, while Payton's 1.87 steals per game ranked eighth.

Guard Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers (33 points) and forwards Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves (31) and Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs (29) were also named to the All-Defensive First Team.

The Defensive Player of the Year for this season will be announced at a later date.

This marks the second First Team selection for Mourning and Duncan and the first for Bryant and Garnett.

Payton, the Defensive Player of the Year in 1995-96, becomes only the sixth player in league history to be selected to the All-Defensive First Team seven times.

Guard Michael Jordan is the all-time leader with nine followed by forwards Bobby Jones and Scottie Pippen with eight apiece. Guard Walt Frazier and forward Dennis Rodman were each selected seven times.

Payton had 35 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in Seattle's 104-93 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, evening their first-round Western Conference series at two games apiece.

Pippen of the Portland Trail Blazers was denied a ninth selection to the All-Defensive First Team, but was voted to the Second Team.

Center Shaquille O'Neal of the Lakers, the probable NBA Most Valuable Player, was also selected to the Second Team along with guard Eddie Jones of the Charlotte Hornets and guard Jason Kidd and forward Clifford Robinson of the Phoenix Suns.

The league's coaches were not permitted to vote for players from their own teams. Points were awarded on a 2-1 basis.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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