Diana Taurasi makes history, becoming the first WNBA player to reach 10,000 points
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Diana Taurasi made history Thursday night by scoring her 10,000th career WNBA point.
She becomes the first player in the WNBA’s 27-year history to reach the mark. Already the league’s all-time leading scorer, she continues to add to her lead with each passing game.
Taurasi entered Thursday’s game just 18 points shy of the milestone, reaching the mark with a three-pointer early in the third quarter.
After setting the 10,000 point mark, she went on a torrid scoring pace for the remainder of the second half, as she finished with 42 points on 12-21 shooting from the field, 6-13 from the three-point line, and 12-12 from the free throw line in the 91-71 win over the Atlanta Dream.
Her 42-point performance was a career-high for the 19-year veteran and was the first time she had scored 40 points in a game since 2010. At 41, Taurasi is also the oldest WNBA player to score 40 points in a game.
“I came here a little nervous, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, I just wanted to get it over with for a sense of relief,” Taurasi said after the game. “But at the same time, I was just focusing on trying to win a game.”
While the Phoenix Mercury has had a down year — 7-19 win-loss record on the year and in 10th place in the standings — Taurasi has continued her consistent play, averaging 17.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.9 assists on the season.
Since entering into the WNBA as the No. 1 pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft, Taurasi has established herself among the greatest to step foot into the hardwood.
Her long list of accolades include winning 3 WNBA championships, 2 WNBA Finals MVPs, a WNBA MVP, 10 WNBA All-Star teams, 14 All-WNBA Team selections, and 5 WNBA scoring titles — including four straight from 2008 to 2011. Her first scoring title in 2006 still stands as the league’s highest scoring average in a season at 25.3 points per game.
On June 18, 2017, Taurasi became the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer with her 7,489th career point, breaking the record previously set by Tina Thompson.
Taurasi holds numerous WNBA records, in addition to the one she just broke Thursday. She is also the WNBA’s all-time leader in three-points and the only player to make at least 1,000 of them.
In 2021, the WNBA unveiled a “Vote for the GOAT” campaign, allowing fans to have their voices heard on who they believe is the greatest player in WNBA history, in which Taurasi was voted the winner.
Despite the amount of years she has been playing basketball professionally — both in the WNBA and international competition — Taurasi has continued to show an unleveled amount of consistency on the court, maintaining her status as one of the league’s brightest stars.
After her record-setting performance, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert wrote this in a statement about Taurasi.
“Diana’s achievement stands as a testament to her skill, determination, and unwavering dedication to the game, which along with her competitive nature, has captivated fans with her incredible scoring ability, clutch performances, and unparalleled basketball IQ. We are honored to witness this milestone,” she said.