Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi becomes oldest player with 30-point game in WNBA history

LAS VEGAS -- Do you want to practice? No need. Do you want to shoot around? It's okay.
Although Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury guard, has been limited in mobility due to an injury to her left ankle, her shooting has not been affected. To lead Phoenix to a 117 to 91 win over the Aces, Taurasi scored a playoff-record-high 37 points. This was enough to make their WNBA semifinal series even at a game apiece.

At 39, the veteran 17-year WNBA player became the oldest player to score a 30-point game in regular season or postseason league history.

Taurasi said that as you age, you need to practice and be in rhythm. However, that's when it's important to lock in and draw on the experiences you have in this league for a while. He was also 10-of-13 from the field and 8-of-11 from 3 point range.

"Games like these are fun and you feel much better when you win.

It was also her eighth record playoff game of 30-points.

She said, "When you become long in the tooth, as I am, then you need to take advantage of these opportunities." I don't mean to go out and get 40 or 35 but to be truly present and in the moment. That's what I try to do each time we meet. These moments are rare.

With an ankle injury, Taurasi missed the Mercury's Round 1-winning win against New York Liberty. However, he scored 14 points in Phoenix’s Round 2-winning overtime victory against the Seattle Storm.

Despite being clearly hobbled, she scored 20 points in Mercury's Game 1 loss at Las Vegas. After the game, Aces coach Bill Laimbeer insists that she wasn't hurt.

He said that "this is the playoffs -- no one's hurt." "I've been there, done that. All of my friends have been there. The playoffs are not for the faint of heart.

"She will not give up on her dreams, either. You can be sure of this one. In a split second, she will cut you out. She's not hurt. We will play her like she's at full speed, ready to go, and all that. This is how we do business. We put ourselves at disadvantage if we think differently."

It didn't matter in Game 2 with center Brittney griner dominating early -- 16 point, 5 rebounds and 2 assists in the first quarter -- while Taurasi was putting on a shooting show late.

Taurasi's 8 3-pointers were second-most in playoff history. However, Taurasi was 7-of-8 (5 of 6 on 3-pointers) when she attempted contested field goals.

Taurasi went 6-for-6, scoring 20 points, while being guarded WNBA Sixth Player-of-the Year Kelsey Plum scored 3 of 5 points and Chelsea Gray scored 10 points.

Arizona's Game 3 will be played Sunday.

Mercury coach Sandy Brondello stated that although she isn't 100%, "She's not at 100 percent." Just get her ready to play in the next game. Diana is a special player because she's mentally tough. I don't believe there are any other players like her.

"She still feels pain. She plays. That says a lot about her player skills, doesn't that? Although I have seen many great games from Diana in situations where she is unable to train or isn't 100%, none are as impressive as this one. It's a credit to her and it's great to watch.


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