Diana Taurasi Named WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week
PHOENIX - Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury was named the WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors for games played Monday, June 7 through Sunday, June 13.
Taurasi earns the 11th Player of the Week award of her career, fourth most of any player in WNBA history, and first of 2010 after averaging 23.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists in three games. Leading the WNBA in scoring with 21.4 points per game, Taurasi shot 52.2% (24-of-46) from the field including 11-for-25 (.440) from the three point line and a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line last week.
Taurasi led the Mercury to a 2-1 week on the back end of a stretch of six games in 12 days, improving to 5-5 on the season and second place in the Western Conference. Wins over Minnesota (June 10) and Tulsa (June 12) coming at the beginning of a four-game home stand mark the first consecutive wins for the defending champions this season.
Against the Lynx on June 12, Taurasi recorded her third 30-point performance of the season and WNBA all-time leading 26th of her career with 31 points on 10-of-18 (.555) shooting. Two days later the reigning WNBA MVP followed that performance with 18 points on 7-of-11 (.636) shooting in just 19 minutes of action in a 116-84 rout of Tulsa in which the Mercury set a WNBA record for points scored in a single game.
On June 8 vs. Los Angeles, Taurasi scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds in a 92-91 loss to the Sparks. All three games between the two Western Conference rivals have been decided by one point with the Mercury holding a 2-1 record.
Taurasi, a two-time WNBA Champion, 2009 WNBA Finals MVP, two-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time WNBA All-Star, has led the league in scoring in three of the last four seasons and has now scored in double figures in 31 consecutive games, the longest active such streak in the WNBA and the second longest in franchise history.
Former Mercury guard Cappie Pondexter, who was dealt to New York in the offseason as part of a three-team trade, was named the WNBA Eastern Conference Player of Week presented by Kia Motors marking the first time in WNBA history that former teammates earned the weekly honor in the same week. Pondexter joined Taursi in leading the Mercury to WNBA titles in 2007 and 2009.
Taurasi and the Mercury return to the court on Friday to host San Antonio at 7 p.m. at US Airways Center.