Elena Delle Donne of the Washington Mystics and Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury today were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in June. Each player earned Player of the Month honors for the third time since the award was instituted in 2010.
Washington posted a 5-3 mark in the eight games Delle Donne played in June, finishing the month with a 10-6 overall record. The 2015 WNBA MVP ranked first among Eastern Conference players in scoring (22.5 ppg), second in blocked shots (1.88 bpg) and sixth in rebounding (6.8 rpg). She also made 43-of-44 free throws for a WNBA-best 97.7 percent. Delle Donne scored in double figures in each of her last seven games, including two games with at least 30 points. She also blocked at least two shots five times.
The 6-5 forward/guard’s month featured a season-high 36 points and six rebounds in a 95-91 win at the Connecticut Sun on June 13 as well as 30 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in a 93-77 win over the host Chicago Sky on June 22.
Delle Donne’s performance against the Sky marked the start of four consecutive games with 20 or more points to close the month. That stretch included a game-winning, buzzer-beating three-pointer to complete a 22-point effort as Washington defeated the visiting New York Liberty 80-77 on June 28. In her final game of the month, Delle Donne scored 27 points and grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds in an 84-74 loss to Phoenix on June 30.
Led by Taurasi, Phoenix went 11-2 in June to improve to a WNBA-best 13-5. The 6-foot guard ranked third among West players in scoring (21.6 ppg) and assists (6.0 apg) and paced the conference in free throw percentage (94.9, 75-of-79). She also contributed 3.4 rebounds per game.
The two-time WNBA Finals MVP (2009, 2014) posted nine games of at least 20 points, including three straight to start the month, beginning with a season-high 29 points to go with six assists and four rebounds in a 95-85 win at the Minnesota Lynx on June 1. Taurasi followed that performance with 20 points, eight assists and four rebounds in a 78-71 road victory over the Atlanta Dream on June 3 and 21 points and eight assists in an 80-74 win at New York on June 5.
Taurasi also led all scorers in two games against the Las Vegas Aces, finishing with 25 points in a 72-66 home victory on June 10 and 28 points (including six three-pointers) in a 92-80 road win on June 17.
Other candidates for the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry, Connecticut’s Chiney Ogwumike, the Dallas Wings’ Liz Cambage and Skylar Diggins-Smith, Las Vegas’ A’ja Wilson, the Los Angeles Sparks’ Candace Parker, Minnesota’s Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore, New York’s Tina Charles, Phoenix’s Brittney Griner and the Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart.
For more information on the WNBA Players of the Month, visit wnba.com/awards.
The 2018 WNBA regular season continues through Aug. 19 and the playoffs begin on Aug. 21. For more information on the WNBA and game tickets, fans may visit wnba.com.