Taurasi Captures 2011 Peak Performer Award
Mercury guard Diana Taurasi earned the 2011 WNBA Peak Performer Award for leading the league in scoring, the WNBA announced today. The WNBA presents three Peak Performer awards annually to the players who lead the league in scoring, rebound and assists during the regular season. Each player will receive a Tiffany trophy in honor of her accomplishments.
In the tightest scoring race in league history, Taurasi edged Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry by less than one-tenth of a point -- 21.63 compared to 21.56 points per game. The previous closest scoring race occurred in 2004, when Lauren Jackson (20.45) eked by Tina Thompson (20.00) by .45 points per game.
Taurasi earned her fourth consecutive and fifth overall Peak Performer award for scoring after averaging 21.6 points in 2011. She also won the scoring title in 2010 (22.6), 2009 (20.4), 2008 (24.1), and 2006 (25.3).The eight-year veteran averaged more than 20 points for the fifth time in her career and shot 44.9 percent from the field, the second-best performance of her career.
The University of Connecticut product scored 20 or more points in 23 games this season, including a season-high 36 against Seattle on Sept. 9. Taurasi also led the league in 3-pointers (81) and ranks third all time in that category (663).
She closed out the season ranked second all-time in career scoring average (20.8 points per game) and fifth in points scored (5,423). The scoring champ leads the Mercury to the Western Conference Semifinals Thursday against the defending champion Seattle Storm.
Taurasi averaged 29.3 points in four games against the Storm this regular season, including two of her three 30-point performances, both of which came at KeyArena. The Storm holds home court advantage in the first round matchup that tips off in Seattle Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
Game 2 of the best-of-three series will be played in Phoenix Saturday at 7 p.m. on NBA TV and Game 3, if necessary, will be in Seattle Monday, September 19 at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. Playoff tickets are available at phoenixmercury.com or by calling 602-252-WNBA