MALONE MVP: F Karl Malone of the Jazz is the NBA's most valuable player, outdistancing Heat C Alonzo Mourning.

Malone, also the MVP of the 1996-97 season, won the award in balloting by a panel of U.S. and Canadian media with 827 points, including 44 first-place votes.

Mourning was second with 773 points and 36 first-place votes, and Spurs F-C Tim Duncan came in third with 740 points and 30 first-place votes.

Malone, 35, averaged a team-leading 23.8 points and 9.4 rebounds during the regular season. He ranked third in the league in scoring and 14th in rebounding.

"Everybody says after a certain age you can't do certain things." Malone said. "Getting this award in a young players' sport is awesome."

The Jazz finished the regular season 37-13, tying it with San Antonio for the best record in the league. Utah was eliminated by the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference semifinals.

"I wish we were here in a different scenario," Malone said to reporters gathered at Delta Center in Salt Lake City. "This award starts the healing process for me this summer."

Philadelphia G Allen Iverson, Phoenix G Jason Kidd and C Shaquille O'Neal of the Lakers were the only other players to receive first-place votes. Iverson finished fourth overall in voting with 319 points, Kidd came in fifth with 159 points.