PHOENIX – She’s back! Three-time WNBA Champion, nine-time WNBA All-Star, 2009 MVP and WNBA all-time leading scorer Diana Taurasi will make her 2019 season debut this evening in Connecticut on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET. Taurasi missed the Mercury’s first 13 games of the season after undergoing a procedure on a disc protrusion in her back to alleviate symptoms of pain and muscle weakness on April 24.
With her return this evening, Taurasi will likely make her Phoenix debut in front of the PayPal X-Factor next Wednesday, July 17 against the Dallas Wings at 12:30 p.m. Phoenix Time during the Mercury’s annual matinee game.
Taurasi joins a Mercury squad that has won five of its last six games and stands at 7-6 on the season. She is coming off a 2018 campaign in which she was named to the All-WNBA First Team after averaging 20.7 points (most since 2011), 5.3 assists (highest since 2014) and 3.5 rebounds per game. Taurasi led the league in three-point makes, knocking down the second-most threes in a season in WNBA history (106), trailing only her 2006 mark of 121. The UConn grad was the only player in the WNBA a season ago to rank in the top-five in both scoring (third) and assists (fourth), and joined Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Cynthia Cooper as the only players in WNBA/NBA history to average 20+ points in a season at age 36 or older.
Taurasi’s return completes the Mercury’s ‘Big Three’ (DeWanna Bonner, Brittney Griner), a trio that combined to score 1,967 points in 2018, the most points by a trio of teammates in WNBA history. Additionally, she and Griner teamed to become just the second duo in WNBA history to each average over 20 points per game last season, joining the tandem of Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter in 2008.
Now in her fifteenth WNBA season, Taurasi has already solidified herself as the greatest women’s basketball player of all-time. A three-time champion, four-time Olympic gold medalist, WNBA MVP, nine-time WNBA All-Star, 10-time All-WNBA First Team selection, two-time WNBA Finals MVP, WNBA all-time leading scorer and WNBA all-time leader in made field goals, Taurasi will look to continue to build to her legacy this season, as she begins her 2019 campaign 451 points shy of becoming the only player in WNBA history to score 9,000 career points (only player at 8,000 career points).
After coming within one win of trip to the WNBA Finals, the Phoenix Mercury return in 2019 in search of a league-record tying fourth WNBA title. Led by the All-Star trio of Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner, Phoenix looks to continue its title quest on July 12 in Connecticut. Tickets for the Mercury’s next home game on Wednesday, July 17 against the Dallas Wings, and the remaining 10 home games, at Talking Stick Resort Arena can be purchased by calling 602.252.WNBA or by visiting PhoenixMercury.com.