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Phoenix Mercury's Taurasi, Griner lead USA women's basketball to 50th straight Olympic victory

Three Phoenix Mercury players helped Team USA women's basketball push through the first preliminary round in the Tokyo Olympics.
Credit: AP
Phoenix Mercury players Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner celebrate after a three point basket during women's basketball preliminary round game against Nigeria at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

SAITAMA, Japan — Phoenix Mercury players Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner were two of the leading scorers in the U.S.A women's basketball win over Nigeria for the first Olympic preliminary round. 

The win also marks U.S.A women's 50th straight win in Olympic basketball. 

Team USA started out cold in the first quarter but things heated up as Griner finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. 

Taurasi also added up points in the double digits with 10 on 3-of-4 shooting at the break. Making her debut after suffering from a hip injury nearly a month ago, Taurasi set the record for the most games played in the Olympics with an overall total of 33 Olympian basketball games played.

Las Vegas Aces' A’ja Wilson had 19 points and 13 rebounds in her Olympic debut to help the U.S. beat Nigeria 81-72.

Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith also played and shot one of two attempted free throws. 

Taurasi was drafted by Phoenix as the first overall pick in the 2004 WNBA draft and has been with the team since. She is a three-time WNBA champion (2007, 2009, and 2014) and a WNBA MVP (2009).

Griner was drafted by Phoenix as the first overall pick in the 2013 WNBA draft and has been with the team since. She is a WNBA champion (2014) and a seven-time WNBA All-Star.

The U.S. next meets Olympics-host Japan on Friday before tangling with France to finish group play on Aug. 2. 

Tokyo Olympics 

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