WNBA

Taurasi's kiss garners huge Internet attention

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Diana Taurasi became an Internet sensation when the Phoenix star gave Seimone Augustus of Minnesota a peck on the cheek after the players were called for double personal fouls in Minnesota's 85-62 rout of the Mercury on Thursday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

Video of the moment has garnered more than 2.5 million views on YouTube in just 36 hours.

Augustus was surprised by how much attention it's gotten.

''I had no idea it would catch fire like it did,'' she said in a phone interview Saturday. ''I guess I should've expected it when I woke up the next morning and saw ESPN had its little segment on sentimental smooches. But I didn't think it would reach this magnitude. It's great. I hope those 2.5 million views transfer over to the game.''

While it was unclear exactly what the foul was called for at the time, a WNBA spokesman said that ''both players were given personal fouls for contact made coming up the floor.''

The pair had been jostling up and down the court and the official stepped in after calling a foul to contain the situation early in the fourth quarter of the blowout. As the pair started to square off, Taurasi planted the kiss on Augustus' cheek.

Augustus said that she and Taurasi joked about it afterward.

''We talked about it and laughed it off,'' Augustus said. ''If you think about it, it could have escalated into an all-out brawl. We have a great friendship and it turned a very stressful situation into a show of sportsmanship.''

The two stars have known each other since they first played AAU basketball in their early teens. They have been teammates and opponents in the WNBA, overseas and on USA basketball, earning gold medals together in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

The teams will play again Sunday in Phoenix, with the Lynx looking to complete a sweep and advance to the WNBA finals for the third straight season. The Mercury will try to snap a 13-game losing streak to the Lynx.

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Follow Doug on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/dougfeinberg

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