Race to the MVP: Week 8

Race to the MVP is WNBA.com’s weekly feature where we evaluate who’s getting closer to that coveted crown.

For the first time this season we have a new No. 1.

Diana Taurasi has unseated Maya Moore this week thanks to a season-high performance, her 6,453rd point (making her second on the WNBA's all-time scoring list), and a seven-game winning streak for Phoenix. Dont be mistaken, however, Maya is still very much a leading contender in her own right.



On top of being voted Western Conference Player of the Week this week, Diana Taurasi had a season-high 32-point performance (including seven three-pointers) against the Los Angeles Sparks. Taurasi also became the league's second-leading scorer of all time, surpassing Kate Smith (in 166 less games, no less). She is currently fifth in the league in scoring (18.9 ppg) and second in the league in assists (6.1). Taurasi also jumped ahead of Maya today thanks to Phoenix's remarkable seven-game winning streak that has them tops in the Western Conference.



Maya Moore's numbers this week were still very Maya Moore-like. She posted 21- and 25-point games this week. Unfortunately for the Lynx, this couldn't carry them past Tina Charles and the New York Liberty. In fact, the Lynx have uncharacterstically lost three road games in a row. It's likely, however, that both Maya and the Lynx will pick themselves back up in the coming weeks and challenge Taurasi and Phoenix for that top spot.



Candace Parker had three solid games for Los Angeles this week with two 22+ point games and one double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds to lift LA past Seattle. The Sparks, however, are in a battler to hold onto fourth place in the West. But with Parker's numbers, the return of both Kristi Toliver and Candice Wiggins, and Nneka Ogwumike's recent performances, the Sparks could be on the up-and-up in no time.



Angel McCoughtry had two very good games this week, keeping Atlanta in the top spot in the East. Angel put up 17 and 16 points, beating Washington by 13 points, but unfortunately falling to Indiana. As of right now, Angel ranks fourth in the league for scoring and number two in steals per game.



Skylar Diggins had yet another 30-point game this week (her third of this season) and two 20+ point games this week. She helped Tulsa to a win over Connecticut. Unfortunately, Tulsa is still in last place in the West and without a few Ws, Skylar may not rise any higher than fifth on this list. The wins could come, however, especially if Odyssey Sims brings home more 30-point games of her own.



Tina Charles had two notable and outstanding games for the Liberty this week. The first was a 28-point season-high performance versus the Tulsa Shock (in which she also grabbed 14 rebounds) and then not only a new season-high, but a career-high 32 point night against the defending champion Minnesota Lynx. The Liberty pulled off a win in both cases. With wins in their last three games, New York moved out of last place in the East.



Brittney Griner is certainly living up to her reputation. Last week she broke the record for most blocks in a WNBA game with 11 and threw down a really solid dunk against LA this week. Her offensive numbers this week were notably weaker than others, but her defensive presence with nine blocks over two games helped Phoenix snag the last two wins in its seven-game winning streak.



Lindsay Whalen put up games of 22 and 13 points this week while also dishing out 12 assists in two games. Whalen's numbers, however, remain consistent and strong as she moves into the No. 2 spot for overall assists this season with 102.



Elena Delle Donne unfortunately continues to slide down the ladder with her absence from WNBA play due to her continued treatment for Lyme disease. Her condition is still unknown, but her presence in Chicago is sorely missed. Hopefully, we will know more in the days to come.


Not Included

Erika de Souza is back in the Top 10 after making her presence felt for Atlanta in the last two games. She put up 23 and 12 points and is now averaging 15.9 points per game to go with 9.6 rebounds.


Nneka Ogwumike

Nneka had a very strong week including two 21+ point games. With her continued strong performance and the return of LA's key players, she could end up on the Race to the MVP ladder this season.

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