Friday night was supposed to belong to Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi as the spotlight was firmly on the celebration of the two in their final matchup as WNBA players before Bird’s end-of-season retirement.
That’s what it was supposed to be. But Skylar Diggins-Smith stole the show, and honestly, we should have known what was coming when she arrived at the arena.
Diggins-Smith, the six-time WNBA All-Star, pulled up to Footprint Center in Phoenix with a certain mentality fit for the occasion — the Mamba mentality. She strolled through the arena rocking the vintage No. 33 Kobe Bryant jersey that he wore as a high school star at Lower Merion.
What ensued was some very high-level basketball.
Skylar would go on to pour in a career-high-tying 35 points while dishing out six assists and grabbing six rebounds.
As the Mercury put together a 34-13 fourth quarter to pull away from the Storm, Diggins-Smith gave the 14,162 fans in attendance the perfect highlight as a cherry on top.
The pull-back. The follow-through. The celebration. Just a beautiful basketball sequence and poetry in motion.
The 94-78 victory for the Mercury put them back into the eighth and final playoff spot with eight games left on their schedule.
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