Record night for Taurasi, Mercury in Game 2 rout over Aces

Aces - WNBA

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi (3) calls a play as she brings the up court against the Las Vegas Aces during the second half of Game 2 in the semifinals of the WNBA playoffs Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Diana Taurasi scored a playoff career-high 37 points and the Phoenix Mercury overwhelmed the Las Vegas Aces 117-91 on Thursday night to even the best-of-five WNBA semifinal series at a game apiece.

Taurasi, the 39-year-old guard who has been dealing with a left ankle injury, was 10 of 13 from the field and made a career-high eight 3-pointers in 11 attempts.

Phoenix set a WNBA playoff record with 68 first-half points on 76.5% shooting. Brittney Griner scored 25 points, 16 of them in the first quarter, to go with seven rebounds and five assists. She was 7 of 8 from the field in the first quarter and finished 9 of 12.

Game 3 is Sunday in Phoenix.

The Mercury shot 84.2% in the first quarter to lead 37-20. Taurasi scored 12 points in the second quarter, and had 11 more in the third.

Skylar Diggins-Smith added 17 points and five assists for Phoenix, and Kia Nurse had 11 points.

Kelsey Plum, honored as the league’s Sixth Player of the Year on Thursday, led the Aces with 25 points. Riquna Williams had 17, and Liz Cambage added 13.

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