Team Delle Donne lost 119-112 to Team Parker on Saturday night for the WNBA All-Star Game. It was a close back and forth affair for much of the first half, but Team Parker went on a 34-24 run in the third quarter to get a solid lead that never went away in the second half. In the fourth quarter, Team Parker was ultimately leading by as many as 14 points, but Kristi Toliver erupted for 21 of her 23 points, making clutch three pointers for Team Delle Donne to keep things interesting until the end.
Toliver was the All-Star Game’s leading scorer with 23 points while Delle Donne added six points. For Team Parker, Maya Moore and Allie Quigley scored 18 points each. Here are the main takeaways for Mystics fans.
Kristi Toliver made a case to be the All-Star Game MVP
Team Delle Donne lost the All-Star Game, but if they won, Toliver would have almost definitely been the MVP. She scored her 23 points shot 8 of 14 from the field and made seven of 11 three pointers. Toliver wasn’t much of a factor in the first half, but her second half performance was nothing short of spectacular.
Maya Moore won the All-Star Game MVP award after scoring 18 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, and dishing 6 assists.
In addition, Toliver also participated in the three point contest, where she finished third in the first round. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to get into the finals round. Allie Quigley won the contest for the second straight year, beating Kayla McBride in a tiebreaker round.
Team Delle Donne should have used a different starting lineup
Maybe we’re splitting hairs and arguing over spilled milk, but the Sue Bird - Diana Taurasi starting backcourt scored a combined eight points, thought they dished 14 combined assists. In fact, the only player in the starting lineup whom Delle Donne and Storm head coach Dan Hughes chose and scored in double figures was Breanna Stewart with ... 10 points. For Team Parker, four of their five starters scored in double figures.
The starting lineups for the WNBA All-Star Game do not take player vote totals into account anymore.
The Sue Bird - Diana Taurasi backcourt has been a mainstay for women’s basketball fans since 2000 when they played at UConn together. To their credit, they formed the starting backcourt for Team USA for over a decade and also for Sparta&k Vidnoje and UMMC Ekaterinburg. They’re the best backcourt in women’s basketball history, period. At the same time, perhaps they could have had a younger option like Toliver (who’s not that young herself) play off of Bird or Taurasi, who are two of the best point guards in WNBA history.
Next All-Star Game
It was announced at the All-Star Game that the Las Vegas Aces will host the 2019 WNBA All-Star Game.