Your Day in Women’s Basketball, September 4: Diana Taurasi is back

The WNBA’s all-time points leader still has plenty left in the tank.

After missing a week in mid-August with a back injury, Diana Taurasi has been on an offensive tear. The Mercury guard has 27 or more points for the third time in fives games, with the majority of her buckets once again coming from beyond the arc. Taurasi became the first player ever to have back-to-back games with 7 three-pointers en route to the Mercury clinching a playoff spot for the 8th year in a row.

Imagine if she knew she could step in a few feet and it would still count for three points. Somehow overshadowed were the Mercury’s season-record 35 points in a quarter,  Skylar Diggins-Smith’s 28 points, and another double-double with 6 blocks for professional shot-stuffer Brianna Turner. If Phoenix can keep this rhythm as they head into the postseason and avoid the injury bug that has haunted them all season, they will be a team everyone wants to avoid.

The Mercury finding their groove came at the wrong time for the Indiana Fever, who were looking to inch within half a game of the final playoff spot. Kelsey Mitchell led the team with 16 points in the loss.

A balanced attack from Las Vegas was too much for the injury-riddled Connecticut Sun, as three Aces eclipsed the 20-point mark in the same game for the first time this year. With defensive stars Alyssa and Jasmine Thomas sidelined, Las Vegas dominated inside the paint and on the perimeter.

A’ja Wilson showed once again why she deserves to be in the MVP race, even if Courtney Vandersloot’s passing ability is too much to overcome . Wilson scored 24 to go along with 20 a piece from Jackie Young and Dearica Hamby as the Aces continue to solidify themselves as contenders.

The Atlanta Dream and New York Liberty battled defensively in a poor three-point shooting contest. Atlanta shooting 2-18 from downtown would normally make them destined for defeat, but the Liberty managed to make only 6 of their 35 attempts. The Dream kept their playoff hopes alive, winning back-to-back games for the first time all year to move within 1.5 points of the Dallas Wings and the final playoff spot.

New York was the youngest team coming into the wubble, and while they have been able to get their first and second year players plenty of game experience, their sights are set on the 2021 draft lottery where they will have the best chance at landing the number one pick.

With only two playoff spots left to be filled and plenty of tight seed races for the bye and double-bye positions, every game matters down the stretch. The Dallas Wings are still in the driver’s seat to hold off Atlanta and Indiana, but they are going to need rookie star Satou Sabally to step up her game.

As for the title favorite Seattle Storm, they are looking to hold on to the top spot after an impressive revenge game against the Washington Mystics as they take on a veteran Los Angeles Sparks team.

Today’s Games

Chicago Sky vs. Washington Mystics, 7:00 PM ET

Minnesota Lynx vs. Dallas Wings, 8:00 PM ET

Seattle Storm vs. Los Angeles Sparks, 10:00 PM ET

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