Diana Taurasi continues to add reasons why she’s the undisputed women’s basketball GOAT.
The Phoenix Mercury’s 10-time All-Star reached the WNBA’s unprecedented 10,000-point mark by a player on a deep contested 3 in the team’s home win over the Atlanta Dream on Thursday.
She needed just 18 points entering the game to get to the 10K mark. But she blitzed past it by finishing with her career-high 42, another single-game record as the oldest WNBA player to ever score over 40.
Here’s a list of other bullet points in her future first-ballot Hall of Fame career. Diana Taurasi, a three-time NBA champion and a seasoned guard for the Phoenix Mercury, is currently enjoying a remarkable season. As she approaches the end of her contract with the team, she continues to demonstrate her exceptional skills on the court, averaging 17.4 points, 4.9 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game.
Taurasi’s influence extends beyond the WNBA, as she has made a significant impact in the Euro ..
Taurasi became the first WNBA player to reach 10,000 points, hitting the mark with 8:23 remaining in the third quarter against the Atlanta Dream on Thursday night.
After the shot, the crowd in Phoenix erupted in cheers and Taurasi’s teammates surrounded her in a circle, jumping up and down and celebrating.
“It was a cool night — you couldn’t have wrote this any better for our fans and our city,” Taurasi said. “I’m really thankful for my teammates because moments like this, it’s everyone’s moment. They really came with me and wanted me to do it tonight.”
It was a vintage performance from Taurasi, who reminded everyone just how incredible she’s been in her career with a season-high 42 points on 12 of 21 shooting, including 6 of 13 from 3-point range. She also hit all 12 of her free throws and the Mercury won 91-71.
“On behalf of the WNBA and basketball fans worldwide, I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Diana on reaching the incredible milestone of 10,000 points as she continues to author new chapters is an illustrious WNBA career.” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement.
“Diana’s achievement stands as a testament to her skill, determination, and unwavering dedication to the game, which along with her competitive nature, has captivated fans with her incredible scoring ability, clutch performances, and unparalleled basketball IQ. We are honored to witness this milestone.”
Taurasi got her scoring started Thursday with a corner 3-pointer about two minutes into the game and then drove through the Atlanta defense for a layup a few minutes later. She had 10 points by halftime.
She was right back at it in the third quarter, hitting a layup on the Mercury’s first possession. Then she hit back-to-back 3-pointers — the last a 28-footer over two defenders that got her to 10,000 points.
“I came here a little nervous, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, I just wanted to get it over with for a sense of relief,” Taurasi said. “But at the same time, I was just focusing on trying to win a game.”
It’s been a tough year for the Mercury, who have a 7-19 record. But this was a moment the whole franchise could celebrate. In a postgame celebration, Taurasi was presented several gifts and listened to several tributes on the video board, including from NBA commissioner Adam Silver, tennis icon Billie Jean King, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley and Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.
Taurasi doesn’t remember most of her points, although the game in which she broke Thompson’s mark in 2017 will always be special because it was in her hometown of Los Angeles and the late Kobe Bryant was there. Taurasi broke Thompson’s record on a layup and after the game, Bryant dubbed her “White Mamba” as a spinoff of his moniker “Black Mamba.”
“I remember that because of where it was and who was there,” Taurasi recalled. “If you add up all the points I’ve scored overseas over the years, I’m way over 10,000.”
Her 10,000th point in WNBA happened in front of a friendly home crowd at the Footprint Center, and its significance isn’t lost on Taurasi.
“When it happens it will be a cool moment for our city, for our franchise,” she said. “Really for all the people who have been in my corner for a long time.”
Taurasi has been the cornerstone of the Phoenix franchise since she was drafted first in 2004 out of UConn. She not only is the career regular-season scoring leader, but also holds that mark in the playoffs, too. She’s won three WNBA championships for the Mercury and earned MVP of the Finals twice in her career.
“We are getting able to witness greatness in front of us,” interim Mercury coach Nikki Blue said. “You take for granted how good DT is. How she’s been this past 19 years. To witness her in this moment, it’s super special. I hope everyone watches and embraces the moment.
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