Mercury’s Taurasi, Griner and Diggins-Smith part of WNBA All-Star Game

Jun 30, 2021, 1:12 PM
Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi (3) is congratulated by center Brittney Griner, left, and Skyla...

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi (3) is congratulated by center Brittney Griner, left, and Skylar Diggins-Smith (4) after scoring a basket during the first half of a WNBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Sparks, Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Ellenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The Phoenix Mercury trio of Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins-Smith will play for Team USA in the 2021 WNBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas.

The national team will face off against a squad of WNBA All-Stars at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob Ultra Arena on July 14.

It’s a new format that will help send Team USA off to Tokyo prior to the 2021 Summer Olympics that begin on July 23.

The United States roster was set on June 21, while its competition for the All-Star contest was announced Wednesday.

Griner has led the Mercury in scoring (19.8), rebounding (9.9) and blocks (2.3) per game this season.

Diggins-Smith has added 18.9 points and 5.4 assists.

Taurasi has appeared in just five games so far due to a fractured sternum but is averaging 17.6 points, 3.6 assists and 3.6 rebounds a night.

The All-Star appearance is the fifth for Diggins-Smith, seventh for Griner and 10th for Taurasi.

Voting for the All-Star roster included an initial tally of fans (50% of the voting weight), current players (25%) and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters (25%).

A list of the top 36 players from that vote who are not part of Team USA were then included in a second vote by coaches to form the 12-player Team WNBA All-Star roster. Each coach voted for five frontcourt players, three guards and then four players at any position.

Mercury forward Brianna Turner made the cut as a top-36 vote-getter but did not make the squad that will face her trio of USA Basketball teammates. She’s averaged 7.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game this season.

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