Phoenix Mercury legend Diana Taurasi is already the all-time leading scorer in WNBA history, and now she has another milestone to add to the books. On Sunday, she became the first player to reach 9,000 career points.
Early in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Sparks, Taurasi brought the ball up the floor and tossed it to Brianna Turner at the 3-point line. She then sprinted toward Turner and took the ball back on a handoff that gave her some separation to get to the basket. As Taurasi drove she was fouled by Karlie Samuelson and powered through the contact to get the runner to go.
This is 9,000 🚨— WNBA (@WNBA) June 27, 2021
It's only fitting that @DianaTaurasi makes an and-1 to hit 9K 🤩Congratulations, DT 👏#CountIt pic.twitter.com/8ErjYDReeG
Taurasi was always set to reach that mark this season, but it happened later than expected because she suffered a fractured sternum just two games in. She initially tried to play through the injury, but was later forced to the sideline for over a month. Sunday's game against the Sparks was the first time she suited up since May 21.
While you can never predict what will happen well in the future, Taurasi will retain her place as the all-time leading scorer for many years to come. There are only four other active players in the top 10, and the closest to Taurasi is Candice Dupree, who is nearly 2,200 points behind and is averaging just 6.1 points per game this season.
Now that Taurasi is back in the lineup, the Mercury will try to make a push before the first half of the season comes to a close. Without her they went 4-5, and currently sit in ninth place at 6-7 on the season. That puts them just outside of the playoff picture, but also only three games behind the third-place Connecticut Sun.