Mercury's Taurasi points for more against Liberty (Jun 3, 2017)

BY AP • June 3, 2017

Three days ago, Diana Taurasi became the WNBA's all-time leader in career 3-pointers.

On Sunday afternoon, Taurasi looks to add to her total when the Phoenix Mercury visit the New York Liberty.

Taurasi began this season with 900 3-pointers in 367 regular-season games since entering the league out of Connecticut in 2004. She sank a career-high 121 3-pointers in 2006 and has never made fewer than 56 3-pointers in any non-injury season.

It put the guard within six of matching Katie Smith coming into the season. She matched Smith in a 107-65 win over Dallas on May 27 and surpassed Smith less than five minutes into a 99-91 win at Chicago on Thursday.

"This record, it'll last for a little bit, (but) I'm sure someone will break it the next couple of years," Taurasi said after hitting a career-high eight 3-pointers.

Taurasi also is second on the league's all-time scoring list after scoring 37 points Thursday. She ended the game with 7,399 career points after moving past Tamika Catchings and is 89 shy of matching the all-time scoring record held by Tina Thompson.

"It's a privilege for me to coach you and just to watch you," Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello said before presenting the game ball to Taurasi.

While Taurasi looks to increase her points and 3-point totals, the Mercury will try to get a third straight win.

Taurasi did not play when Phoenix dropped a 69-67 decision at home to New York on May 23 but since returning from a one-game suspension for a flagrant-2 foul, she is 14 of 23 from the field.

Besides Taurasi's big games, the Mercury are getting significant production from Brittney Griner. Griner scored 28 points on Thursday and is averaging a career-high 21.5 points so far.

The Liberty dropped two straight to Seattle and Los Angeles after beating Phoenix. New York rebounded with Friday's 93-89 win over the Dallas Wings in the second game of a five-game homestand.

Tina Charles scored a career-high 36 points, including 22 in the second half as the Liberty held on after taking a nine-point lead with 2:47 left.

It was the first of several games the Liberty will play without Epiphanny Prince and Kia Vaughn. Both players are fulfilling overseas obligations which will run through the end of June, and with Brittany Boyd out because of an injury, the Liberty are playing without three of their top seven scorers.

"This win was excruciatingly important for us," coach Bill Laimbeer said. "We don't know what's going to happen in the next six games when the players are not here. We're going to scrap and fight. Then we'll see how good we are at that point when they return."

While Charles helped significantly with the best game of her career, the Liberty had others chip in. Shavonte Zellous scored a season-high 27 points after struggling most of the season, while Kiah Stokes totaled 13 and 15 rebounds.

Those showings helped the Liberty outscore an opponent in the second half for the first time this season, though Laimbeer would like to see better endings than allowing a 9-2 run in the final minutes.

"If we lost this game, especially in the end when we had the game won, that would have been a heart-stopping moment," Laimbeer said. We would have to dig deep to get out of that one."


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