Diana Taurasi Defies Time | Drops 37 Points At 39 Years Old

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Diana Taurasi might be the GOAT.

The Phoenix Mercury guard scored a playoff career-high 37 points leading Phoenix to a 117-91 victory over the Las Vegas Aces. In addition, Taurasi accomplished this feat while injured.

The win makes the WNBA semifinal series even at one game apiece.

No Pain. No Gain.

The Mercury star had been originally ruled out for the first round WNBA playoff game against the Liberty on Thursday. Her lingering left ankle sprain sidelined her during the team’s final four games of the regular season.

Injuries are going to happen to veteran players, and Taurasi’s left ankle has limited her mobility and non-game-day availability. At 39 years old, the fact that she even entertained playing during the postseason is remarkable.

However, it is for a good reason. Taurasi’s shooting ability has kept The Mercury at a high level during the season and the series. Taurasi has averaged 15.2 points and 4.9 assists per game this season.

“As you get older, you want to be in practice and you want to be in rhythm, but that’s when you’ve really got to lock in and kind of lean on your experiences that you’ve had in this league for a long time,” said Taurasi.

WNBA’s GOAT

Taurasi is a wrecking ball for the Mercury as she was 10 of 13 from the field and made a career-high eight 3-pointers in 11 attempts. She also became the oldest player to record a 30-point game, regular season or postseason in league history.

Taurasi now has a record eight 30-point playoff games under her impressive resume.

“When you have games like this, you just enjoy them and they feel a lot better when you come out with the win.”

“When you get long in the tooth, like I am, you have to take advantage of these situations,” she said. “And I don’t mean go out there and try to get 40 or 35, but be really locked in and be in the moment, and that’s what I’m trying to do every single time we get together right now. Because these moments don’t come very often.”

Taurasi is joining the wave of veteran greatness as exhibited by Tom Brady, who took his new Tampa Bay Buccaneers team to the Super Bowl last year and won at 44 years old.

Playoff D

The ankle injury caused Taurasi to miss the Mercury’s Round 1 playoff win against the New York Liberty. However, she rebounded by scoring 14 points in Phoenix’s Round 2 overtime win against the Seattle Storm.

Even in loss, Taurasi’s output has been outstanding. Her 20-point contribution during the Game 1 loss to Las Vegas came through the nagging injury.

The Phoenix Mercury is setting records as a collective. The team developed a WNBA playoff record 68 first-half points on 76.5 percent shooting. Center Brittney Griner scored 25 points, with 16 of them in the first quarter alone. Griner also had seven rebounds and five assists.

She was seven of eight from the field in the first quarter and finished nine of 12. Griner also had five rebounds, two assists and two blocks in the first quarter.

Taurasi was the first WNBA player to score 9,000 career points in June and won gold with Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics. Her in-game shooting clinics are nothing short of legendary, and Game three is Sunday, Oct. 3 in Phoenix.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.