Taurasi Named Western Conference Player of the Week
Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury was named the WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week for regular season games played Monday, Aug. 10 through Sunday, Aug. 16. She shares the honor with Sancho Lyttle of the Atlanta Dream.
Taurasi wins her 10th Player of the Week award and her first in 2009. She led the league in scoring this week with 25.0 points on 53.1 percent shooting (17-32) and averaged 4.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds. She helped the team to a 1-1 record with a win at home against San Antonio in a home-and-home series. With her 25.0 points per game this week, she reclaimed the league lead in scoring (20.8 ppg) for the season over Becky Hammon (20.1 ppg).
In the Phoenix win over San Antonio, Taurasi scored 29 points on 47.4 percent (9-19) shooting while collecting six rebounds, handing out six assists and blocking two shots. She also went a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line. She followed up that game with 21 points, including 12 points on 80.0 percent (4-5) shooting from three-point range, in the loss.
Taurasi becomes the fourth player (Lisa Leslie, Lauren Jackson and Tamika Catchings) in league history to win 10 or more Player of the Week awards. She is a four-time WNBA All-Star, four-time All-WNBA First Team selection, two-time league scoring champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist. In addition to her 20.8 points per game, Taurasi is averaging 5.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 2009.
Sancho Lyttle wins the first Player of the Week award of her career following a week in which she averaged 15.0 points on 46.2 percent shooting (12-26), 10.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals. She was third in the Eastern Conference in rebounding and steals and was one of three players in the conference to average a double-double. She led the Dream into sole possession of second place in the East after a perfect 2-0 week with wins over the Detroit Shock and Seattle Storm.
Against the Storm, Lyttle matched her season-high with 20 points on 52.9 percent (9-17) shooting while pulling down eight rebounds. She also had three steals with no turnovers against Atlanta’s second-place counterpart from the Western Conference. Lyttle recorded a double-double earlier in the week with 10 points and 12 rebounds against the Shock.
In her first season with the Dream, Lyttle was named to her first All-Star Game. She’s averaging 13.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.1 steals this season, all career highs. She currently ranks in the top five among qualified WNBA league leaders in rebounds and steals.
Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Chicago’s Sylvia Fowles, Indiana’s Tamika Catchings, New York’s Janel McCarville, Sacramento’s Rebekkah Brunson, San Antonio’s Sophia Young and Seattle’s Lauren Jackson.