WNBA

WNBA Playoffs 2021: Diana Taurasi's playoff career-high 37 points help Mercury shock Aces in Game 2

A pair of Game 2's in the WNBA Semifinals on Thursday night (ET) didn't disappoint. Wins to the Phoenix Mercury and Connecticut Sun mean both best-of-five series are tied 1-1.

Even though the Mercury's win against the Las Vegas Aces was a dominant wire-to-wire 26-point win (117-91), it was a showcase of the highest quality by one of the best players in women's basketball - Diana Taurasi.

On the other hand, the matchup between Chicago and Connecticut was a close back-and-forth game until the Sun ran away with it in the final period.

Here's a quick recap, with all you need to know, from both games:

Diana Taurasi does Diana Taurasi things

After losing Game 1 in close fashion 96-90, Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury were in no mood for a close game.

Right from tip-off the visitors took control of the game, outscoring the Aces by 17. Refusing to let the pressure off, they had basically won Game 2 in the first 10 minutes.

The Mercury kept their foot on the gas by following the lead of their 39-year-old superstar Diana Taurasi.

The former two-time Finals MVP, coming off no practice and shootaround in the lead-up, erupted for a playoff career-high 37 points which included a career-high eight 3-pointers. The 17-year WNBA veteran is the oldest player in league history - regular season or playoffs - to record a 30-point game.

Dishing out just the one assist, Taurasi was only focused on scoring and she did so with remarkable efficiency. She piled on 37 points on just 13 shots and knocked down eight 3-pointers on 72.7 percent shooting.

The 37 points and eight 3-pointers are postseason records in the Mercury's franchise history. Overall, Taurasi was one of five double-digit scorers for Phoenix with Brittney Griner being the other big performer as she finished with 25 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

For the Aces, who had six players score in double figures, Kelsey Plum - fresh off being named Sixth Woman of the Year - was the top scorer. Coming off the bench, she finished with 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field in 30 minutes of action.

Sun's big fourth-quarter helps tie series

The top-seeded Connecticut Sun, having lost Game 1, were down 11-0 within the first three minutes of the game. However, they battled back and made a game of it as they trailed by just one (59-58) heading into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter was when everything changed. It went from the Sky possibly taking a 2-0 series lead to the Sun tying it up. On the back of a 21-9 fourth quarter, Connecticut dominated down the stretch and clinched a much-needed 79-68 Game 2 victory.

Sun's reserve Alyssa Thomas was the game's star as she came off the bench to finish with 15 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and two steals in just 24 minutes. In her just fourth game back after rehabbing from an Achilles for nearly eight months, Thomas came up clutch scoring 10 of her 15 and the team's 21 fourth-quarter points.

She was one of five players to finish in double figures for the Sun as recently-named MVP Jonquel Jones had a rough game with just four points on 2-of-9 shooting.

For the Sky, their forwards Candace Parker (12 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three blocks, two steals) and Kahleah Copper (13 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals, two blocks) were the top performers but it simply wasn't enough.

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