Three-time WNBA Champion and WNBA all-time leading scorer Diana Taurasi was named the Western Conference Player of the Month for June, as announced by the league office today. This marks the third time in her career Taurasi has been named WNBA Player of the Month (June 2013, June 2014), accounting for all three times a Mercury player has won the award since it was established in 2010.
Taurasi averaged a team-best 21.6 points and team-leading 6.0 assists during the month of June, guiding the Mercury to a league-best 11-2 record during the month, including an 8-1 mark on the road. Behind the league’s all-time leading scorer, the Mercury tied the franchise record for wins in a month (11 wins in June 2014), won a WNBA season-high eight-straight games to begin June, and tied the 2009 Mercury for the second-best 18-game start in franchise history (13-5, started 15-3 in 2014).
Taurasi scored 20 or more points nine times in the Mercury’s 13 games in June. She dished six or more assists in nine games and made at least one three-pointer in all 13. The league’s all-time leader in three-point makes averaged over 3.5 makes from beyond the arc during the month, shooting 37.7 percent (46-of-122) from long range. Taurasi continued to her hot streak from the free throw line as well, shooting 94.9 percent (75-of-79) from the charity stripe for the month.
What may have come as Taurasi’s most impressive games during the month of June were on June 17 at Las Vegas and June 26 at New York when she added two more records to her already impressive resume. Taruasi finished with 28 points and seven assists in the Mercury’s win against the Aces after connecting on six three-pointers and finishing 10-of-10 from the free throw line on the second night of a back-to-back. Her 28-point performance was the highest individual scoring performance in NBA/WNBA history without a two-point field goal attempt. Nine days later against the Liberty, Taurasi started the game with a WNBA-record seven consecutive three-point makes en route to 27 points to go along with seven assists.
At the age of 36 and in her 14th WNBA season, Taurasi is having an MVP-caliber summer. With averages of 20.1 points and 5.1 assists per game, she’s the only player in the WNBA ranked in the top five in scoring (5th) and assists (5th). She’s shooting a league and career-best 95.8 percent (92-of-96) from the free throw line and leads the league in three-point makes with 60, which is 15 more makes from beyond the arc than second place. With her scoring average currently over 20 points per game, Taurasi joins the ranks of Karl Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as the only players in NBA/WNBA history to average 20 or more points in a season at the age of 36 or older.
WNBA all-time leading scorer Diana Taurasi and 2017 WNBA scoring champion Brittney Griner return to Phoenix this summer to lead the Mercury in a quest for the franchise’s WNBA-record tying fourth championship. Tickets to the Mercury’s next home game on Thursday, July 5, and the rest of the Mercury’s 2018 home games are on sale NOW and can be purchased by calling 602.252.WNBA or by visiting PhoenixMercury.com.