After leading the Mercury to its first playoff berth in six seasons and into first place in the Western Conference, All-Star guard Diana Taurasi was named the WNBAs Western Conference Player of the Week for the week ending August 5, the league announced today.
Taurasi collects the fifth weekly award of her career and her fourth in the last two seasons. Its the second Western Conference Player of the Week honor of the season for the fourth-year guard, who won for the first week of the regular season (May 19-27). Taurasi also won the award on August 15, 2006, July 10, 2006, and August 8, 2005.
During the week, Phoenix became the first Western Conference team to clinch a berth in the 2007 WNBA Playoffs and ended a six-year postseason drought, the longest in WNBA history. In the process, Taurasi secured the first postseason berth of her career. The Mercury also won six consecutive games, one shy of a franchise record, before Saturdays loss at Seattle.
The leagues fourth-leading scorer at 18.9 points per game, Taurasi averaged a team-high 23.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.33 blocks and shot 46.4 percent from the field in leading her team to a 2-1 week. In a matchup with Western Conference co-leader San Antonio on Thursday, August 2, Taurasi scored 19 of her 24 points in the second half, including a personal 9-0 run in the third quarter that turned a five-point deficit into a four-point lead that the Mercury never relinquished.
The 2007 WNBA Playoffs begin August 23 and tickets are now available to Mercury season ticket holders. Fans wishing to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public can become a member of Downtown Live to receive pre-sale notifications. Become a member free of charge by logging onto phoenixmercury.com.
The Mercury return home Thursday, August 9 to face the New York Liberty at 7 p.m. at US Airways Center with Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano on hand to help celebrate the teams regular season accomplishments. Phoenix returns to action Tuesday, August 7 at the Los Angeles Sparks to conclude its season-long four-game, 10-day road trip. Tickets for all three remaining Mercury regular season home games are still available and can be purchased online.