Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird, W.N.B.A. Stars, Keep Longtime Friendship

Except for All-Star games, they have never played side-by-side in the W.N.B.A., but they are almost certainly entering league history together this season.

Taurasi, 35, broke Tina Thompson’s W.N.B.A. career scoring record on Sunday by 6 points, reaching 7,494. At the same time, Bird is on pace to set the W.N.B.A. record for career assists — she is 119 behind Ticha Penicheiro’s mark of 2,599.

Their careers have been linked since 2000, when Taurasi enrolled at UConn during Bird’s junior year. Often, they are typecast — Taurasi as the brash Southern California girl with a knack for attracting controversy and Bird as the munificent point guard from Long Island with the girl next door vibe.

But Connecticut Coach Geno Auriemma was quick…

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