LOS ANGELES — Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury broke the W.N.B.A career scoring record on Sunday, scoring 19 points and passing Tina Thompson in a 90-59 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday.
Taurasi now has 7,494 career points, passing Thompson’s mark of 7,488. She broke the record in the closing seconds of the first half by moving around a screen by Emma Cannon near the top of the key and knifing into the lane, past Nneka Ogwumike, for a layup.
The game was stopped, and the crowd, which included the former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, gave Taurasi a warm ovation.
Taurasi took only 13 seasons to become the league’s top scorer; Thompson needed 17 seasons to achieve her total. Taurasi broke the career record for 3-pointers earlier in the season, passing Katie Smith.
Ogwumike led the Sparks (8-3) with 18 points and had 7 rebounds, and Candace Parker added 17 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
The Sparks raced to a 15-0 lead, were up by as much as 22-2 and led by 38-17 at the end of the first quarter. The 38 points gave the Sparks their highest-scoring quarter of the season, just 2 points shy of the league record for points in a quarter.
Riquna Williams, who had a season-high 15 points, hit back-to-back 3-pointers to push the Sparks’ lead to 30 early in the fourth, and Odyssey Sims hit two free throws to make the score 90-57. The 33-point lead was the biggest of the season for Los Angeles.