Mercury’s Diana Taurasi scores 29 points in loss to Fever, moves closer to 10,000

Aug 1, 2023, 6:48 PM

Diana Taurasi...

Phoenix Mercury's Diana Taurasi argues a call during the second half of a WNBA basketball game against the Indiana Fever, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Fever beat the Phoenix Mercury 72-71 on Tuesday night to spoil Diana Taurasi’s 29-point performance.

Taurasi, the league’s career scoring leader, is now 18 points away from 10,000 points. Taurasi, who was coming off a season-high 24 points on Sunday, scored 23 of Phoenix’s 43 first-half points after making 8 of 10 shots, including 4 of 6 from distance. Taurasi finished 10 of 16, with five 3-pointers.

Kelsey Mitchell extended the Indiana lead to 70-61 with 5:06 left in the fourth quarter, but the Fever would not score again until Emma Cannon’s shot in the lane with 59.5 seconds left to regain the lead. Cannon had a career-high 23 points with nine rebounds.

Indiana guard Erica Wheeler was off on a 3-pointer and Phoenix took possession with 13.9 seconds left. Taurasi was short on a baseline jumper but Phoenix kept the possession with 6.8 seconds left. Moriah Jefferson got into the paint but her layup didn’t fall and Aliyah Boston secured the rebound.

Indiana (7-19) won at home for just the second time this season. Phoenix (6-19) had its road losing streak extended to 10 straight games.

Wheeler added 13 points and Boston had six points and 11 rebounds for Indiana. Victoria Vivians (non-COVID illness) and NaLyssa Smith (left foot) did not play for Indiana.

Megan Gustafson added 17 points for Phoenix. Brittney Griner missed her second straight road game to focus on her mental health. The Mercury start a four-game homestand on Thursday.

Phoenix scored 10 unanswered points late in the fourth quarter to take its first lead, 71-70, since it was 30-29 in the second quarter.

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