PHOENIX – The three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury today announced that guard Diana Taurasi has been named the WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from July 31 to August 6. The league’s all-time leading scorer earns the award after becoming the first player in WNBA history to reach an unprecedented 10,000 career regular season points on August 3 vs. Atlanta.
This marks Taurasi’s franchise-best 21st career WNBA Player of the Week honor and her first since June 2017. She has received the award the fifth most times in league history behind only Tina Charles (32), Candace Parker (26), Elena Delle Donne (24) and Tamika Catchings (22).
Taurasi led the league in scoring for the week, averaging 33.0 points in three games on 54.4% shooting (46.9% from three), while adding 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. She opened up the week with a (then season-high) 29-point, five-rebound, three-assist performance in Phoenix’s one-point loss at Indiana on August 1.
Entering the team’s game against the Dream on August 3 just 18 points shy of 10,000 for her career, Taurasi blew past that mark, recording a season-high 42 points in Phoenix’s 91-71 victory. It marked her most points in a game since July 14, 2010 (44 points) and third most in her career (she scored a career-high 47 points on August 10, 2006). The 42 points were also Taurasi’s most in a regulation game for her career, as her 44 and 47-point outings both came in triple overtime.
Taurasi’s 42-point performance marked her fourth career 40-plus point game, giving her sole possession of the most in league history after entering the game tied with Maya Moore at three. She joined Michael Jordan as the only other player in WNBA and NBA history to score 40 or more at the age of 40 or older. Jordan (40 years, 4 days) scored 43 points in 43 minutes while Taurasi (41 years, 53 days) scored 42 points in 30 minutes, shooting 12-of-21 from the field, 6-of-13 from deep and a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line.
Taurasi capped off the week posting 28 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal against the Seattle Storm on August 5. She totaled 99 points in three games on the week, tied for 11th most in league history and just shy of her personal record of 102 points (August 2016). Knocking down five three-pointers in two of the games (four in the other), Taurasi now has a WNBA-record 76 career games recording five-plus threes (the next most is Katie Smith with 30), and remains one of only three players in the league this season to make five-plus threes in four or more games, joining Sabrina Ionescu and Jewell Loyd.