WNBA.com Power Rankings: July 4, 2006

Happy Independence Day, our American folks. To our international fans: Happy Tuesday. This week's Power Rankings celebrates justice, freedom and liberty with a lowercase 'l.' Not much has changed from last weeks WNBA.com Power Rankings as the Sparks are once again the top ranked team and the bottom five remain the same. The Connecticut Sun take over the No. 2 spot as the Eastern Conference race starts to heat up, and the Mystics fall three spots.

2006 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: Week Six
TEAM (last)
1 13-5Despite losing to Seattle on Wednesday to end an eight game winning streak and falling at home last night to the Silver Stars, the Los Angeles Sparks remain in the top spot thanks to Chamique Holdsclaw's solid play off the bench in back-to-back wins. Against the Mercury on Friday Chamique scored 18 points, and the following night she scored a season-high 23 points in a win over the Mystics. The Sparks have won 10 of their last 12.
Upcoming: vs. Houston, vs. Indiana
2 12-5After finishing the week 2-1, the Connecticut Sun are back at the No. 2 spot despite losing to the Detroit Shock, who held the second spot last week, 64-70, on Friday. The Sun remain ahead of Detroit and Indiana in the Eastern Conference standings and proved that they are still the best team in the East by bouncing back from Fridays loss by beating the Fever on the road, 76-66.
Upcoming: vs. Charlotte, vs. Phoenix
11-5The Shock remain in the top three of the Power Rankings and the WNBA Eastern Conference standings. Cheryl Ford's 22 points and season-high 19 rebounds led the Shock over the Silver Stars on Tuesday, 63-59, to start a three game road trip. The Shock finished the trip 2-1 with their only loss coming to the Fever, 56-66, on Thursday, and defeated the Eastern Conference leading Connecticut Sun 70-64 on Friday.
Upcoming: vs. Phoenix, at Minnesota

The Houston Comets have now won nine straight at home and four of their last five overall. After losing to the Sun on the road, 57-73, to start the week, the Comets won two in a row over the Monarchs and Mystics at home. Five of the Comets next six will be played on the road.
Upcoming: at Los Angeles, at San Antonio


The Fever suffered their first home loss of the season losing to the Connecticut Sun, 66-76, on Saturday. However, the Fever beat the Mystics and Shock last week to finish the week 2-1 and remain only 0.5 games behind the Conference leading Sun. The Fever play their next three on the road before a five game home stand.
Upcoming: at Los Angeles, at Seattle


The Storm are two games over .500 for the first time this season after finishing last week with a 3-0 record, including a win over the Los Angeles Sparks on the road without their star center Lauren Jackson in the lineup, snapping the Sparks eight game winning streak. Jackson was back in the lineup on Saturday and did not seem to lose a step. She finished the game with 25 points and 10 rebounds as the Storm defeated the Lynx 92-75. The Storm's next four will be played at home where they currently hold a 6-3 record.
Upcoming: vs. Indiana, vs. New York

7 9-8

Erin Buescher led the Monarchs to a 2-2 record last week. Buescher, who averaged 15.5 points and 8.25 rebounds for the week, scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds in a 87-78 win over the Lynx on Wednesday. In a 65-57 win over the Sting on Saturday Buescher recorded her first double-double of the season as she scored 13 points and grabbed 13 boards in the Monarchs second win of the week.
Upcoming: at New York, at Washington

8 9-8After starting the season 7-0 at home, the Washington Mystics lost their first home game last Tuesday when they were defeated by the Indiana Fever, 67-74, at the Verizon Center. The Mystics road troubles this season continued on Thursday as they lost to the Comets 76-83, and Saturday as they were defeated by the Los Angeles Sparks 75-80. The Mystics went on to win their first game of the week on Sunday as Chasity Melvin led the Mystics past the Mercury 81-78 on the road.
Upcoming: at Minnesota, vs. Sacramento
9 7-7The Silver Stars are back at .500 after winning back-to-back games against the Liberty and Sky, then going on the road an winning in Los Angeles of all place on Monday night. In her return to New York, Vicki Johnson scored a team-high 19 points to lead the Silver Stars past the Liberty, and the following night she dished out a season-high eight assists as San Antonio defeated the Chicago Sky 69-57. Shannon Johnson nearly had a triple-double against the Sparks.
Upcoming: vs. Detroit, at New York
Phoenix (10)
6-9The Mercury lost two close games (83-85 at LA, 78-81 vs. Washington) after beating the Minnesota Lynx, 81-78, on Wednesday to finish the week 1-2. Cappie Pondexter averaged 23 points per game in the Mercury's two losses.
Upcoming: at Detroit, at Connecticut
4-11After winning two straight and finally looking alive, the New York Liberty lost to the Charlotte Sting, 67-73, and San Antonio Silver Stars, 78-9, at home last week. Vicki Johnson made her return to the New York and showed the Liberty what they have been missing as the veteran scored 19 points to lead the Silver Stars.
Upcoming: vs. Sacramento, at Chicago
5-11Seimone Augustus and the Lynx lost all three games played last week and have not won in their last five. The Lynx' next five games will be played at home.
Upcoming: vs. Washington, vs. Detroit
3-13The Sting ended their seven game losing streak on Tuesday as they defeated the New York Liberty, 73-67. The win was Charlotte's first road win of the season and helped keep them from having the worst record in the WNBA.
Upcoming: at Connecticut, at Los Angeles
Chicago (14)
2-14Led by Dupree's 15 points and seven rebounds, the Sky won their first home game of the season and snapped a 13 game losing streak as they defeated the Charlotte Sting, 75-69. Two days later the Sky's losing ways continued as they lost to the Silver Stars 57-69.
Upcoming: vs. New York, vs. at Washington