The Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi has reached many milestones in her college, WNBA and Olympics career.
Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi will start for the Western Conference in the WNBA All-Star Game, July 22 in Seattle.
Taurasi will be starting in her eighth All-Star Game. She has never missed the mid-season event during her 13-year career, which is not held during Olympic and World Championships seasons. Taurasi sat out the 2015 season when there was an All-Star Game.
The All-Star starters were announced Tuesday. Taurasi and Seattle’s Sue Bird are West guards with Minnesota’s Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles and Los Angeles’ Candace Parker in the front court.
Taurasi became the WNBA career 3-point leader June 1 and the league career scoring leader June 18. She is seventh in scoring this season, averaging 18.1 points.
East starters are Washington’s Elena Delle Donne, New York’s Tina Charles and Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones in the front court and Atlanta’s Tiffany Hayes and Connecticut’s Jasmine Thomas at guard.
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Fan voting counted for 50 percent in determining starters with current players and a media panel voting counting 25 percent each. Fans cast 604,680 votes, more than double than in 2015 (280,670) when the last All-Star game was held.
In media and player voting, Taurasi was No. 1 among West guards and second in fan voting at the position.
Moore led in overall fan voting with 32,868 votes followed by Delle Donne (31,414), Parker (29,133), Fowles (24,904) and Bird (24,841). Fan voting was the tiebreaker in a position group and came into play with Parker winning the tiebreaker over Sparks’ teammate Nneka Ogwumike.
Reserves will be selected by league coaches and announced July 18. Mercury center Brittney Griner, who leads the league in scoring (22.4 ppg) and is in contention for Most Valuable Player, is a virtual lock for her fourth All-Star appearance. Griner was fifth in Wests front court weighted All-Star voting and second in the media and player voting behind Fowles (sixth among fans).
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All-Star coaches are Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve (West) and New York’s Bill Laimbeer (East) based on 2016 best regular-season record.
Atlanta Dream at Phoenix Mercury
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena.
TV: Fox Sports Arizona.
Mercury: The Mercury (10-6) are on a season high three-game win streak, beating Washington, San Antonio and New York last week. They are facing Atlanta for the first time and were 2-1 against the Dream last year. Phoenix’s last four-game regular season win streak was in 2015 when it won five straight from July 28-Aug. 7. The Mercury also had a six-game win streak in 2015 but did not win more than three straight (twice) in 2016.
Dream: The Dream (8-8) have won three of their last four games including 98-78 over Dallas on Sunday. All-Star G Tiffany Hayes leads in scoring at 16.6 ppg followed by G Layshia Clarendon (11.1), F Bria Holmes (10.9) and C-F Elizabeth Williams (10.1). F Sancho Lyttle and Williams are the rebounding leaders. Rookie G Brittney Sykes (first round draft pick, No. 7 overall) is contributing with 9.7 ppg while averaging 18.9 minutes.