Taurasi poised to break record as Mercury hosts Sky (Jun 15, 2017)

Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi is within reach of the WNBA career scoring record when the Mercury host the Chicago Sky on Friday night.

Taurasi, who set the league’s all-time 3-point record earlier this season, needs 29 points to break the record of 7,488 set by Tina Thompson from 1997-2013.

“When it comes, I’m going to let it come organically,” Taurasi said in an interview with azfamily.com. “I want it to feel good. I want it to feel normal and real.”

She might not have to force the issue to break the record Friday night at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Taurasi is coming off a 27-point performance in a home loss to the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday night, and she scored a season-best 37 in a road victory against the Sky (2-7) earlier this season.

The Mercury (5-4) beat Chicago 99-91 on June 1.

Taurasi tied a career high with eight 3-pointers in that game, surpassing Katie Smith as the WNBA’s all-time leader in made 3-pointers.

Taurasi hit 6 of 9 shots from behind the arc in the loss to the Sparks, when she hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds to bring Phoenix within one point in what turned out to be an 89-87 loss.

“She’s amazing,” Mercury coach Sandy Brondello said on WNBA.com. “She’s a special player and that’s why I say she’s the greatest player of all time because what she can do in those big moments. She makes plays.”

If Taurasi doesn’t break the record Friday night, she likely will top it Sunday at Los Angeles.

She is averaging 18.6 points, while Phoenix center Brittney Griner leads the WNBA with 23.8 points to go with averages of 8.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks. Griner had 28 points and 13 rebounds in the first meeting against the Sky.

Chicago is coming off an 85-81 victory at the San Antonio Stars on Saturday, snapping a five-game losing streak as it shot a season-high 55.4 percent from the field.

Guard Allie Quigley leads four Chicago players in double-figure scoring, averaging 14.8 points per game. She missed the first three games while finishing up in a professional league in Turkey.

“Sometimes the money (from playing overseas) is too good to pass up,” she told the Chicago Sun-Times. “But at the same time, I just love playing. I think when you do it year-round, one season just rolls into the next and all of a sudden you’re like, ‘I’m having a great time’ and the season just kind of flies by.”

Forward Tamera Young is averaging 14.1 points for the Sky, followed by center Stefanie Dolson (13.2) and guard Cappie Pondexter (12.7).

Phoenix is 2-3 at home this season.