Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi sets all-time scoring record

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi became the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer inside the Staples Center in Los Angeles against the Los Angeles Sparks Sunday, June 18, surpassing Tina Thompson’s previous mark of 7,488.

A banner commemorating the Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi after she broke the all-time scoring record in the WNBA Sunday, June 18 hangs from Phoenix City Hall in downtown Phoenix Wednesday, June 21. (Submitted Photo)

Taurasi’s basket to move her past Thompson came with 45.3 seconds remaining in the second quarter after converting right-handed layup.

Taurasi reached the record quicker than her predecessor after Taurasi hit the 7,488-point in 377 career games as opposed to Thompson reaching it in 496 career games, according to a press release.

“Congratulations to Diana on becoming the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer. I am excited that it is Diana and it is my absolute pleasure to pass the torch on to her,” Thompson said in a prepared statement.

“She and I have shared so many amazing moments throughout our basketball careers, whether it was gold medals, championships or All-Star Games. Diana is one of the best players to ever play the game and definitely one of my favorites. She has done amazing things and I am so grateful that I’ve been able to share many of those with her. I am really excited for Diana and I think she is going to blow that record out of the water.”

In recognition of Taurasi’s accomplishment, the City of Phoenix unveiled a 20-by-40-foot banner on City Hall, 200 W. Washington St. in downtown Phoenix, Wednesday, June 21.

The Mercury will also host Taurasi night at their next home game, which is Saturday, June 30 against the Minnesota Lynx.

It will be a game-long celebration of the new all-time leading scorer, featuring special video messages, a banner unveiling and a commemorative Taurasi bobblehead, courtesy of State Farm, for the first 5,000 fans.

“Diana is everything you would want in a basketball player, and the kind of player who not only defines a franchise but an entire league for a generation,” Phoenix Suns and Mercury Managing Partner Robert Sarver said in a prepared statement.

“Her first year in 2004 was my first year with the team. She has played her entire 13-year career with our franchise and now she is the greatest scorer in the history of the WNBA. We could not be more proud of what she has done for the game, our franchise, and the city.”

Taurasi has been one of the league’s premier scorers in her 13 seasons. Now the record-holder for career p​oints, she already owns the top two single-season scoring marks in league history, the league record for 20-point and 30-point games and has led the league in scoring a WNBA-record five times.

Taurasi, who celebrated her 35th birthday on June 11, owns the third-highest career scoring average in league history and currently ranks seventh in the league in scoring at 18.2 points in 2017, her highest scoring average since 2013 (20.3).

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