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Diana Taurasi becomes WNBA’s all-time career scoring leader

Diana Taurasi is done climbing the list. Now, she only has a record to build upon. With a late second-quarter layup on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Sparks, the Phoenix Mercury veteran became the WNBA’s all-time career scoring leader.

The 35-year-old out of UConn entered the game needing 14 points to surpass Tina Thompson, whose prior record of 7,488 was set in 496 career games over 17 seasons.

Taurasi, in her 13th season, only needed her 377th game to reach the mark.

She scored 19 points, hitting four threes, in the Mercury’s 90-59 loss to Los Angeles on Sunday.

“She and I have shared so many amazing moments throughout our basketball careers, whether it was gold medals, championships or All-Star Games,” Thompson said in a release. “Diana is one of the best players to ever play the game and definitely one of my favorites. She has done amazing things and I am so grateful that I’ve been able to share many of those with her. I am really excited for Diana and I think she is going to blow that record out of the water.”

The Mercury announced Sunday it will hold a celebration on June 30. Dubbed Taurasi night, Phoenix will honor the veteran with special video messages, a banner unveiling and a commemorative bobblehead to the first 5,000 fans at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

“Diana is everything you would want in a basketball player, and the kind of player who not only defines a franchise but an entire league for a generation,” said Mercury managing partner Robert Sarver. “Her first year in 2004 was my first year with the team. She has played her entire 13-year career with our franchise and now she is the greatest scorer in the history of the WNBA. We could not be more proud of what she has done for the game, our franchise, and the city.”