Taurasi honors Kobe, Mercury beat Mystics | Inquirer Sports

Taurasi honors Kobe, Mercury beat Mystics

/ 12:10 PM August 24, 2020
Diana Taurasi

FILE – Diana Taurasi #3 of the Phoenix Mercury dribbles up court during the first half of a game against the New York Liberty at Feld Entertainment Center on August 02, 2020 in Palmetto, Florida. Julio Aguilar/Getty Images/AFP

BRADENTON, Florida — Diana Taurasi hit seven 3-pointers and finished 34 points — both season highs — to help the Phoenix Mercury beat the Washington Mystics 88-87 on Sunday night.

Taurasi honored former Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant by wearing a No. 8 Bryant jersey on what would’ve been the five-time NBA champion’s 42nd birthday. Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.

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She made 8 of 15 from the field and 11 of 13 from the free-throw line.

Phoenix was without six-time All-Star center and two-time WNBA defensive player of the year Brittney Griner — the team’s leader in scoring (17.7 points per game), rebounding (7.5) and blocks (1.8) — for the second consecutive game. The Mercury announced Saturday that Griner had left the WNBA Bubble at IMG Academy for personal reasons.

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Kia Vaughn had 16 points, Bria Hartley scored 11 and Skylar Diggins-Smith 10 for Phoenix (7-7). Brianna Turner added nine points and a career-high 17 rebounds.

Tianna Hawkins led the Mystics with 19 points and Ariel Atkins scored 18. Myisha Hines-Allen had 10 points, a career-high tying 13 rebounds and a career-best eight assists.

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TAGS: diana taurasi, Kobe Bryant, Phoenix Mercury, Washington Mystics, WNBA
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