Diana Taurasi of Phoenix Mercury becomes oldest player in WNBA history with a 30-point game
LAS VEGAS – practice? No need. Shoot-out? Meh.
Because while Phoenix Mercury Guard Diana Taurasi’s injured left ankle has restricted her mobility and availability outside of the game, her gunshot attack hasn’t suffered a bit. Taurasi hit a playoff career high of 37 points to lead Phoenix to a 117-91 win over the Aces to even reach their WNBA semi-final series at one game apiece.
And at 39, the WNBA veteran was in his 17th
“When you get older, you want to train and be in rhythm, but then you really have to hold on and lean on the experiences you’ve had in this league for a long time,” said Taurasi, who was 10 of 13 out of the field. including 8 of 11 from the 3-point range.
“When you have games like these just enjoy them and they will feel a lot better when you come out with the win.”
It was also their eighth playoff game with 30 points.
“When you’re getting on in years like me, you have to take advantage of these situations,” she said. “And I don’t mean going out and trying to get 40 or 35, but really being locked in and being in the moment, and I try to do that every time we meet. Because those moments don’t come often.”
Taurasi missed Mercury’s Round 1 playoff win over New York Liberty with the ankle injury and scored 14 points in Phoenix’s Round 2 overtime win over Seattle Storm.
She added 20 points in the Mercury’s Game 1 loss to Las Vegas, despite being obviously hindered. But Aces coach Bill Laimbeer insisted after that game that she wasn’t injured – so to speak.
“These are the playoffs – nobody is injured,” he said at the time. “I was there and did that. All of my friends were there and did that. There is no sympathy factor in the playoffs.
“And there will be no quarter either. Take care, okay? She’ll cut out your heart in a second. So, she’s not hurt. We’ll play her like she’s in full swing and ready to go and so on. This is how we do business. If we think differently, we put ourselves at a disadvantage. “
It didn’t matter in Game 2, not with the early dominance of center Brittney Griner – 16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks in the first quarter – and Taurasi, who started their target practice late.
While Taurasi’s eight 3-pointers were the second most playoff game in postseason history, she was also 7-of-8 (5-of-6 for 3-pointers) in competitive field goal attempts.
Taurasi was 6-for-6 for 20 points while guarded by WNBA Sixth Player of the Year Kelsey Plum and 3-out-of-5 for 10 points while guarded by Chelsea Gray.
Game 3 is Sunday in Arizona.
“It’s not 100 percent, but it hasn’t deteriorated and that’s the most important thing for us right now,” said Mercury manager Sandy Brondello. “Just get them ready for the next game. And what makes Diana so special is that she is mentally strong and I don’t think there is another player in this department who is built like her.
“She’s still in pain … She just plays. It says a lot about her as a player, doesn’t it? I’ve seen a lot of great games from Diana, but none is as big as this one in the situations she has been in unable to exercise and is not 100%.