Taurasi Named Western Conference Player of the Week

Posted: August 2, 2010

PHOENIX- Mercury guard Diana Taurasi was named the WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors for games played Monday, July 26 through Sunday, August 1, the league announced today. The award is her second consecutive weekly honor and her third this season (June 14).

Taurasi earns the 13th Player of the Week award of her career, tied for third most of any player in WNBA history (Tamika Catchings), after averaging 26.0 points, 8.0 assists and 3.3 rebounds in three games this week in which the Mercury went 2-1 improving to 12-13 on the season. She shot 53.2% from the field, 7-of-18 from the three-point line and 21-of-24 from the free throw line.

The reigning WNBA MVP recorded 35 points on 12-of-19 shooting and a career-high 11 assists on Sunday vs. Chicago. It was her sixth career double-double and only the second 30-point, 11-assist performance in WNBA history (Jia Perkins, 2007). After a slow start by the Mercury, Taurasi recorded 10 points and four assists in the second quarter and 12 points and four assists in the third quarter willing her team to the win behind her league-leading eighth 30-point game of the season and 31st of her career.

Last Tuesday the Mercury jumped out to an 18-point first half lead on league-leading Seattle behind Taurasi’s 16 points and four assists. The team could not overcome a third quarter drought and eventually fell to the Storm 91-85, but Taurasi finished with 27 points, six assists and four rebounds in the effort.

Two days later vs. Minnesota the league’s leading scorer poured in 12 of her 16 points in the first half pacing the Mercury to a WNBA record 69 first half points. She went on to finish with seven assists as Phoenix routed the Lynx 110-92.

Arguably the hottest team in the WNBA, Phoenix has won seven of its last nine games and holds a two-game lead on San Antonio for second place in the West. As a result, a Mercury player has won three of the last four Western Conference Player of the Week awards (Candice Dupree, July 12).