By Chris Bernucca

June 18, 2008: Scoreboard | Video Play of the Day | Today in the WNBA Archive

Superstar Diana Taurasi does her best impersonation of Julius Erving in Phoenix's home rout of Connecticut on Wednesday.
Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images
Terrific Turnaround for Taurasi

Mercury reach triple digits in win over Sun: Off to a 2-6 start and anticipating a five-game road trip, the defending champion Phoenix Mercury needed a win Wednesday as their tough early season schedule continued with a showdown against the Connecticut Sun, the top team in the Eastern Conference. All-Star swingman Diana Taurasi was coming off one of the worst performances of her career, shooting just 1-of-13 and fouling out in Saturday's home loss to Detroit. The season-low nine points dropped her behind teammate Cappie Pondexter in the race for the WNBA scoring lead. But Taurasi bounced back with one of her better games, torching the Sun for 32 points on 11-of-15 shooting - including 3-of-6 3-pointers - as Phoenix erupted for a league season-high total in routing Connecticut. Ironically, the previous season high was held by the Sun, who scored 100 points vs. Atlanta on Opening Day. En route to a 23-11 mark last year, the Mercury scored in triple digits eight times, then added four more 100-point games in the postseason. They went 9-3 in those games as they won the championship.

Dreaming of a win: The expansion Atlanta Dream are finding their first win to be very elusive. Wednesday's home loss to San Antonio dropped the Dream to 0-11, two losses shy of the WNBA record for worst start set by the 2003 Detroit Shock. Atlanta visits Washington on Friday and hosts Detroit on Sunday. Last year, Houston got off to an 0-10 start. ... In Houston's home loss to Washington, Comets swingman Hamchetou Maiga-Ba had a league season-high eight steals. Detroit rookie Alexis Hornbuckle had seven steals vs. Houston on Opening Day.
"At this point, it's kind of like I'm kamikaze because I'm so happy to be out there. I'm just flying here and flying there." -- Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings, who sat out the first half but totaled 11 points, five rebounds and three steals in 14 second-half minutes in Wednesday's home win over New York, her second game back from a torn Achilles' tendon.

Kelly Miller, Mercury
17 pts, 6-9 FG, 1-1 3-pt FG, 4-5 FT
102-81 win vs. Sun

Lisa Leslie, Sparks
21 pts, 10-15 FG
80-67 win vs. Sky

Janel McCarville, Liberty
23 pts, 8-14 FG, 7-8 FT
83-69 loss at Fever

Dominique Canty, Sky
1-9 FG, 2 pts
80-67 loss at Sparks

Ivory Latta, Dream
2-11 FG, 0-3 3-pt FG, 10 pts
81-66 loss vs. Silver Stars

Essence Carson, Liberty
0-6 FG, 2 pts
83-69 loss at Fever

Friday's Games ...

  • Atlanta at Washington, 6 p.m. ET
  • Minnesota at Detroit, 7 p.m. ET, NBA TV
  • Los Angeles at San Antonio, 8 p.m. ET
  • Chicago at Phoenix, 10 p.m. ET
  • Connecticut at Sacramento, 10 p.m. ET
  • Indiana at Seattle, 10 p.m. ET
  • Hornbuckle

    In her last three games, San Antonio Silver Stars guard Becky Hammon managed just 30 points and 10 assists - not bad numbers, but certainly below her standards. Hammon's subpar play did not seem to affect the Silver Stars, who won all three of those games. But in Wednesday's win at Atlanta, Hammon broke out of her "slump" with 25 points and nine assists, both season highs. Hammon, who will p lay for Russia in this summer's Olympics, made 7-of-10 shots - including a pair of 3-pointers - and all nine of her free throws. Hammon also had four steals, another season high, as San Antonio won its fourth straight game.
    Is Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker tired? That would be understandable, given that the Rookie Rankings leader went directly from a national championship run at Tennessee to a whirlwind publicity tour as the first pick in the WNBA draft to training camp. Parker had a sensational pro debut with 34 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in a nationally televised win over Phoenix. However, Parker has not scored more than 19 points in nine games since. Also, she is averaging 7.3 rebounds in her last four games after registering 11.1 boards in her first six games. In Wednesday's home win over Chicago, Parker had 14 points and six rebounds, numbers much closer to her season lows than her season highs.