Maya Moore, Courtney Paris and Diana Taurasi Capture 2014 WNBA Peak Performer Honors
Moore, Paris, Taurasi All Win Respective Awards for First Time
Taurasi First in WNBA History to Have Led League in Scoring, Assists During Career
NEW YORK, August 19, 2014 Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx, Courtney Paris of the Tulsa Shock and Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury have won the 2014 WNBA Peak Performer Awards for scoring, rebounding and assists, respectively, the WNBA announced today.
The WNBA presents the Peak Performer Awards annually to the players who lead the league in each of those categories during the regular season. Each player will receive a trophy crafted by Tiffany in honor of their accomplishments.
Moore earned her first scoring title with an average of 23.9 points per contest, finishing ahead of Tulsas Skylar Diggins, who ranked second (20.1 ppg). For Moore, the 23.9 ppg is the third-best single-season output in league history behind only the 25.3 ppg and 24.1 ppg from Taurasi in 2006 and 2008, respectively. The fourth-year veteran opened the season by scoring 135 points in her first four outings. That effort the most prolific four-game scoring stretch in WNBA history also enabled her to become the first player in league history to post four consecutive games of 30 or more points. She went on to finish the regular season with a league-record 12 such games, topping the previous mark of 10 set by Taurasi in 2008.
Moore had perhaps her best outing of the season in a 112-108 double-overtime win over the visiting Atlanta Dream on July 22, when she tallied a career-high 48 points the second-highest single-game total in WNBA history to go along with 10 boards, four assists, and a pair of steals. Four games later, on Aug. 2 in an 84-75 victory at Tulsa, Moores 40-point effort gave her the league mark for 30-point games in a season.
Paris earned the rebounding crown by averaging 10.2 boards per game, more than double that of her previous career high of 4.1 rpg (in 2013 and as a rookie in 2009). The fifth-year pro edged out three-time rebound leader Tina Charles (2010-12) of the New York Liberty, who finished second with 9.4 rpg. Paris 13 double-doubles tied for third in the league with the Connecticut Suns Chiney Ogwumike, behind co-leaders Glory Johnson of Tulsa and Charles.
Tulsas Paris reached double figures in rebounds in 18 games, including five games of 15 or more boards. She set a career high with 16 rebounds against New York on June 10 and equaled that mark again at Washington on July 25.
Taurasis 5.606 assists per game (185 in 33 games) paced the league and earned her the distinction of being the first player in WNBA history to have led the league in both scoring and assists at any point in her career (she led the WNBA in points per game in 2006, 2008-11). This year, Taurasi narrowly edged out three-time assists leader Lindsay Whalen of Minnesota, who finished second with 5.559 apg (189 in 34 games).
The 11-year pro led Phoenix to a league-best 29-5 record and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. In the process, she helped Phoenix carve out a 16-game winning streak, marking the second-longest streak in WNBA history.
While her career average for assists stands at 4.3 per game, Taurasis 6.2 apg a year ago and 5.6 apg this season are the best marks of her career. A University of Connecticut product like Moore, Taurasi dished out five or more assists in 20 games this season, reaching the 10-assist plateau four times, including a season-high 12 vs. Tulsa on June 20.