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Diana Taurasi Breaks WNBA All-Time Scoring Record

With a driving layup late in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Sparks Sunday evening, the Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi became the WNBA's all-time leading scorer.

Taurasi now stands alone atop the league's all-time scoring table with 7,494 points, an average of 19.9 points per game. It took her less than 13 full seasons to set the record; she surpassed Tina Thompson, who racked up 7,488 points over 17 seasons before retiring in 2013.

Thompson congratulated Taurasi on breaking her record: "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."

Though it was a night for the record books for Taurasi, the Mercury got hammered by the Sparks, 90-59.

"I was just trying to get a basket at that point, I think we were down 20," Taurasi told ESPN. "It's a pretty cool, special moment. You know, it's a lot of basketball. I've been really lucky, played with a lot of great players, lot of great coaches."

Taurasi has played her entire career with the Mercury, winning WNBA Championships in 2007, 2009, and 2014 – and winning MVP in the latter two.

"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," said Phoenix Suns and Mercury Managing Partner Robert Sarver. "We could not be more proud of what she has done for the game, our franchise, and the city."

Less than three weeks ago, Taurasi broke the WNBA record for career 3-pointers, which had been held by Katie Smith.

Tarausi, who turned 35 last week, has won four straight Olympic gold medals with Team USA. Earlier this month Taurasi said she'd be happy to play in the 2020 Tokyo Games, the Associated Press reported.

"As long as I'm playing at a high level, and I deserve to be out there, then I'll always put that USA jersey on," she said. "There's nothing better than that, no matter how many times you've done it."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Laurel Wamsley is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She reports breaking news for NPR's digital coverage, newscasts, and news magazines, as well as occasional features. She was also the lead reporter for NPR's coverage of the 2019 Women's World Cup in France.