Mercury 111

(16-16, 7-9 away)

Comets 110


    8:30 PM ET, August 10, 2006

    1 2 3 4 OT 2OT 3OT T
    PHX 23 23 21 22 8 8 6111
    HOU 22 14 28 25 8 8 5110

    Top Performers

    Phoenix: D. Taurasi 47 Pts, 6 Reb, 9 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Houston: T. Thompson 37 Pts, 16 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Stl

    Taurasi scores record 47 in Mercury's triple-OT victory 

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Diana Taurasi put up a record-breaking performance in a game her team had to win.

    Taurasi scored a WNBA record 47 points Thursday night to lead the Mercury to a 111-110 triple-overtime win over the Houston Comets in the highest-scoring game in league history.

    "It was a great basketball performance," said Phoenix coach Paul Westhead. "I had no idea what she had, but she was in the 40s somewhere, but had she not fouled out it could have been well into the fifties."

    She broke Katie Smith's record of 46 points that she set in 2001 against the Los Angeles Sparks while playing for Minnesota. Taurasi wasn't around for the end as she fouled out with 2:45 left in the second overtime, just 35 seconds after she broke the mark.

    Penny Taylor added 19 points for the Mercury, who need to win their remaining two games -- and hope the Comets lose at home to Seattle on Saturday -- to qualify for the postseason.

    "What's even better about this night is that we won," Taurasi said. "All year we have been playing with our backs against the wall and today everyone chipped in to get a little piece of the pie."

    At 16-16 overall, the Mercury reached the .500 mark for the first time all season.

    Tina Thompson, in her first game back after missing 13 contests with a strained right calf, scored a career-high 37 points for the Comets, who could have clinched a playoff berth with a win.

    Thompson also added a career-high 16 rebounds and was just two assists shy of a triple-double.

    "It's a game of runs," Thompson said. "We had ours and they had theirs. We let them get up early and then we had to fight to get back in the game. Being at home, it never should have gotten into a situation where we were down by double-digits.

    "But it is what it is."

    Sheryl Swoopes scored a season-high 30 points for the Comets, who have lost four of their past five games.

    Taurasi hit a long 3-pointer to give the Mercury a 102-99 lead before getting called for a charge against Thompson.

    "It's especially nice against a team that's legendary when you talk about the WNBA," Taurasi said. "For us to come in here and win a game like that it means a lot."

    Houston, which trailed by as many as 11 points in the game, took a 110-107 lead when Thompson made her final shot of the night with just 1:38 left in the third overtime.

    But the Mercury answered quickly with a basket by Jennifer Derevjanik before taking over on defense. Kelly Miller gave the Mercury the lead with a pair of free throws after being fouled by Thompson with 16.4 seconds left.

    The Comets had one last chance, but Dawn Staley's shot at the buzzer was partially blocked by Derevjanik.

    "I didn't want the game to go into another overtime," Miller said. "I concentrated and put them in. Sure there was pressure, but I tried not to think about it."

    Since winning three of four from July 20 to Aug. 4, the Comets have lost three straight games, all with a chance to get to the postseason for the ninth time in 10 years.

    "I really feel sorry for our team," Houston coach Van Chancellor said. "We got some great looks at the basket, but at the end we just couldn't make anything. I thought we played as hard as we could."

    The teams eclipsed the scoring mark of 204 set on June 1, 2000, when Sacramento beat Detroit 108-96.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      Phoenix Houston
    Points 111 110
    FG Made-Attempted 42-94 (.000) 38-94 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 9-28 (.321) 7-24 (.292)
    FT Made-Attempted 18-23 (.000) 27-37 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-41 17-55
    Assists 22 25
    Turnovers 12 14
    Steals 12 6
    Blocks 3 4
    Fast Break Points 19 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 33 (0/0) 19 (0/0)