Taylor seals her second WNBA title
11 October 2009
Australia's Penny Taylor again displayed her big match pedigree to help Phoenix win their second WNBA championship in the deciding game five against Indiana on Saturday (AEDT).
Taylor scored 14 points, including two crucial free-throws in the final minute, as the Mercury rallied from a 2-1 series deficit to claim the title with a 94-86 game-five victory at a sold-out American Airways Center.
It is Taylor and Phoenix's second title in three seasons after the 28-year-old also played a major role in their 2007 triumph.
Indiana star Tamika Catchings hit a lay-up with one minute left that brought the Fever within two, 88-86, before Taylor was fouled driving to the basket with 37.7 seconds remaining.
Her free-throws re-established a two-possession lead and Phoenix held Indiana scoreless the rest of the way, with DeWanna Bonner and Finals MVP Diana Taurasi hitting more late free-throws to seal the victory in front of 17,313 screaming fans.
"This is what we do, we make big plays," said Taurasi, who scored a game-high 26 points in game five.
"We have people that step up and love to live the moment. It's a great team, great team."
As well as her 14 points, which included a perfect 7-of-7 effort from the free-throw line, Taylor added five assists and four rebounds to deny Australian teammate and Indiana guard Tully Bevilaqua her second WNBA championship.
Veteran Bevilaqua, who won her first title alongside Lauren Jackson with Seattle in 2004, had three points and three assists in game five.
Taylor only rejoined Phoenix midway through the season following ankle surgery, but she is compiling some resume. As well as her two US championships, she has won titles in Russia and Australia, along with a bulging trophy cabinet from international competition.
The 185cm forward has two Olympic silver medals, a Commonwealth Games gold medal and was named MVP in the Opals' gold medal-winning effort at the 2006 world championships in Brazil.