A Decade of Diana: No. 9
By Ben York, PhoenixMercury.com
Posted: Feb. 14, 2013
In celebration of Diana Taurasi being named as the X-Factor’s Favorite Mercury Player of All-Time, and coinciding with the superstar entering her 10th year with the Mercury in 2013, PhoenixMercury.com has launched a special tribute series entitled, “A Decade of Diana.” Every Thursday starting Feb. 7 for 10 weeks, we’ll relive Taurasi’s 10 best moments with the team since her arrival in 2004.
Taurasi Moment No. 9: August 1, 2010
“I was just trying to get people more involved. We have some really, really good scorers out there. I think when we move the ball we’re one of the best – and it starts with me.” – Diana Taurasi
Scoring 30 or more points in a WNBA game doesn’t happen very often. The same can be said for tallying 10 or more assists.
But in the same game?
Maybe that’s why a 30-point/10-assist game has happened only twice in WNBA history (Jia Perkins, Diana Taurasi).
For Taurasi, the illustrious accomplishment occurred at home in a game against the Chicago Sky on August 1, 2010. At first, Chicago's Sylvia Fowles was the most dominant force on the court scoring 18 of the Sky’s first 26 points in the first quarter. However, in the second, Taurasi chimed back with 10 points and four assists in the quarter.
By halftime, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the US Airways Center crowd was poised for a shoot-out; Taurasi had 14 points and six assists at the half while Fowles had 21 points and five rebounds.
The Mercury began the third quarter in their famous “Rover” zone which forced Fowles to become more of a distributor. Consequently, Fowles was limited to just two points in the third quarter while Taurasi put up another 12 points and four assists.
Not surprisingly, Fowles stormed back in the fourth quarter scoring 12 points and grabbing another three rebounds. A Candice Dupree lay-up assisted by Diana Taurasi (on an extraordinary no-look pass which you'll be able to see in the video below) would pull the Mercury to within one point with just under a minute left in the game. Two free-throws by DeWanna Bonner then gave Phoenix the lead by one until Jia Perkins (ironic, no?) hit a 16-foot jumper to put the Sky back up by a single point.
Fittingly, Diana Taurasi sank two huge free-throws with 3.7 seconds left (and then stole the Sky's subsequent inbound pass) to give the Mercury their 12th win of the season, 97-96.
As mentioned above, Taurasi finished with 35 points (her eighth 30-point performance of the 2010 season at the time, 31st of her career) and 11 assists becoming just the second player in WNBA history to amass 30 or more points to go along with 10 or more assists in a single game.
She also shot 12-19 from the floor (63 percent), 3-6 from the 3-point line (50 percent) and 8-8 from the foul line (100 percent) to go along with three rebounds and two steals.
Incredibly, through her scoring and distributing, Taurasi accounted for over 62 percent of the Mercury’s 97 points.
A Decade of Diana
Visit PhoenixMercury.com on Thursday, Feb. 21 for the No. 8 moment in “A Decade of Diana.”