UNCASVILLE, Conn., May 22 (Ticker) -- Diana Taurasi returned as the conquering hero and played like one.

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Diana Taurasi starred in her return to Connecticut on Saturday.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
The rookie guard, who led the University of Connecticut to three straight national championships, scored 18 of her 26 points in the second half to lead the Phoenix Mercury to a 65-58 victory over the Connecticut Sun.

Taurasi scored 22 points Thursday in her WNBA debut, a 72-66 loss to Sacramento. Two days later, the No. 1 overall draft pick was the best player on the court, delighting the sellout crowd of 9,341 that filled the Mohegan Sun Arena with banners proclaiming their love for Taurasi.

"The fans here are great and I appreciated their support," said Taurasi, who drilled five 3-pointers and added five rebounds and four assists. "This will always be my second home. To hear them cheering me made me feel great."

Taurasi hit a baseline fadeway and a pair of 3-pointers in an 18-2 run which opened a 55-36 lead for with 6:05 left.

Connecticut pulled within 63-58 with less than a minute left, but Taurasi sealed the win with a pair of free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining.

Anna DeForge added 17 points for the Mercury.

Taj McWilliams-Franklin scored 14 points and Wendy Palmer added 10 and 10 rebounds for the Sun, who shot 38 percent.