On a night where all eyes were on Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner decided to take the opportunity to hit a milestone of her own on the big stage.
Griner entered the game just 27 points shy of 2,000 for her career. She scored 9 points in the first two quarters as the Mercury took a commanding 45-32 lead into halftime. It wasn’t until there was two minutes left that she was within three.
And like her teammate Taurasi said, “Obviously BG did her thing.”
The 6’8” center battled in the paint, went up with the shot, got fouled and made the basket. Griner knocked down the free throw giving herself 27 points for the game, 2,000 for her career and an 86-78 win for the Mercury.
“It was huge,” Taurasi said. “I think today is the way we want to play with a lot of people doing a lot of things.”
Taurasi may not have finished with the all-time scoring record, but she still had a huge impact on the court to secure the win with 15 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds.
“That’s Diana Taurasi in a nutshell,” Head Coach Sandy Brondello said. “She’s really unselfish. She’s a great player, greatest player in the world. Diana is all about winning.”
“I’m not chasing it,” Taurasi said. “When it comes, it comes. I’m just not going to go out there and try to get points to break the record.”
Taurasi, a California native, will need just 14 points to break the record on Sunday when the Mercury travel to face the Los Angeles Sparks.
“It would have been nice to do it in front of these fans here,” Taurasi said. “Going home, my parents will be there, my family. I’m sure a lot of Phoenix fans will travel. So that will be nice too…if it happens there.”