Just a few weeks after becoming the WNBA’s all-time leader in made 3-pointers, Diana Taurasi has broken another historic record.
With a right-handed layup with just under a minute left in the first half of the Phoenix Mercury’s matchup against the Los Angeles Sparks, Taurasi became the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer, surpassing Tina Thompson’s career total of 7,488 points.
Diana Taurasi becomes the @WNBA All-Time Leading Scorer! pic.twitter.com/9DZjNACXto— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) June 18, 2017
Taurasi was able to break the scoring record in just 13 seasons, while Thompson scored her 7,488 points in 17 seasons. After scoring 19 points in Mercury’s 90-59 loss to the Sparks, Taurasi currently has 7,494 career points.
“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 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. “
Prior to breaking the record, Taurasi had high praise for Thompson and her storied career in an interview with Michelle Smith.
“She’s right up there for me with the best of all-time, and that’s strictly and directly because of the work she put in,” Taurasi said of Thompson. “To even come close to what she did in this league, and if I do pass it, would be a great accomplishment because Tina set the bar that high.”
With the scoring record broken, Taurasi received praise all over, including LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Bryant was in attendance for Taurasi’s record-breaking game and honored her with a standing ovation. James posted a video on Twitter congratulating her on breaking the record and her historic career.
.@KingJames salutes @DianaTaurasi for becoming the @WNBA's all-time leading scorer in history. #Respect pic.twitter.com/QnVpJj0PkA— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) June 18, 2017
Recent NBA champion and Finals MVP Kevin Durant also congratulated Taurasi on social media.
Yep, DT gets buckets. Any way you want em— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) June 18, 2017
Taurasi’s record-breaking performance against Los Angeles comes in the midst of yet another impressive season for the WNBA veteran. Prior to Taurasi’s matchup with the Sparks, the four-time gold medalist and former UConn star averaged 18.2 points and 2.3 assists per game in the Mercury’s first nine games of the season.