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Diana Taurasi keeps ‘pushing the limits’ with 10,000-point milestone

Diana Taurasi reacts after scoring her 10,000th career point during the Phoenix Mercury's win against the Atlanta Dream on Aug. 3. (Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Diana Taurasi became the first WNBA player to reach 10,000 career points Thursday night. And then she kept going.

The 41-year-old guard finished with 42 points in the Phoenix Mercury’s 91-71 win over the Atlanta Dream, a career high for points scored in regulation. With her first 40-point game since 2010, she also became the oldest WNBA player to drop 40-plus points.

Yet even after her milestone night, the latest in a long long of broken records for Taurasi, she kept her accomplishments in perspective. Eventually, someone, someday will take her place.

“I think it is just pushing the limits,” she said after the game. “I said it earlier – when you love something and you are passionate about something, you push the limits. It is not my record. It is not my number. It’s going to be a number that will be broken at one point by someone that loves basketball as much as I did and is willing to give up moments that you take for granted for moments that are legendary.”

For now, though, she’s going to enjoy the moment, particularly as she reflects on the journey that got her here.

“I wouldn’t change a thing. Every moment led to another moment,” she said. “It started in my driveway. It really did. It was just innocent. It was naive. There was no goal. There was no plan. There was no speaking English. It was just a kid who liked to play basketball in her front yard.

“Sometimes you forget that it is supposed to be fun. As the years have gone by, I have to keep reminding myself that when you do something you love, it is not your job. It is not work. It is just your passion.”

Mercury interim head coach Nikki Blue shared in the moment. Blue, 39, has known Taurasi since their AAU basketball days, and she found herself in awe when Taurasi hit the 10,000-point shot.

“I told her that I was proud of her. It’s funny because she is older than me, but we’ve known each other since 16-years-old playing AAU basketball together,” Blue said. “To see her growth and to dominate this sport and to represent the way that she does — it’s not about me, but it was special for me to be able to witness that and to coach her tonight. I thanked her and told her I was proud of her. She was amazing tonight.”

After all, Taurasi didn’t just pass the milestone. She dominated, turning in a vintage Diana Taurasi performance.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before. For her to show that she’s still at the top of her game, it was really a sight to see,” Blue said. “Just to be able to witness this tonight was truly special and only the way the Diana Taurasi could do it. Forty-two points at 41-years-old? You guys! We have never seen anything like this. It was so much fun.”