Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi first WNBA player to score 30 at age 40 or older

It seems hard to imagine, but Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi found even thinner air Thursday night.

Taurasi scored 30 points in Phoenix’s 90-80 win over the Los Angeles Sparks, becoming the first WNBA player in league history to score 30 or more points at age 40 or older. She joined Michael Jordan and Dirk Nowitzki for only third in NBA/WNBA history.

“Well, I mean, at this point — we were just talking about this in the hallway — when you’re old, everything is a record,” Taurasi said. “The first person to miss 15 3s in a 40+ game. The first person to have four offensive fouls in the span of two minutes in 40+.

“At least at this point I’m just happy with a win. We can be the best team at 40 and then I’ll be happy.”

With the win, the Mercury jumped to sixth place in the WNBA standings and put them straight into the playoff race. Phoenix has a 76% chance of making the playoffs according to the WNBA BPI, a rate that could change overnight but not by much.

Taurasi, who turned 40 on June 11, finished the field 12-20, including 5-13 from 3-point range, and 11-12 from the free-throw line. Thursday night was Taurasi’s 27th game with 30 points and five 3-pointers, which is more than all WNBA franchises individually. The Minnesota Lynx are closest at 19.

This was her eighth game that season with five or more 3-pointers, the second-highest in WNBA history after the 10 games she did in 2006. It was also Taurasi’s 52nd career 30-point game – 20 more than any other player in WNBA history.

Skylar Diggins-Smith had 27 points, six assists and five rebounds before being ejected at 7:48 in the game after receiving two technical points for arguing a foul call.

“She made me proud,” Taurasi said jokingly, before calling Diggins-Smith’s sacking “unfortunate.”

Chennedy Carter led the Sparks with 23 points and Nneka Ogwumike had 11 rebounds.

Phoenix is ​​now 13-16 with seven games remaining. The Mercury would extend their playoff streak to 10 straight games should they secure a postseason berth. Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi first WNBA player to score 30 at age 40 or older

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