SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 1 (Ticker) -- DeMya Walker and the Sacramento Monarchs are doing their best to secure home-court advantage for the first round of the postseason.

Walker scored a season-high 16 points as the Monarchs extended their home winning streak to seven games with a 74-62 triumph over the Houston Comets.

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Yolanda Griffith also scored 16 points for the second-place Monarchs (18-11), who moved two games in front of the third-place Comets (16-13) in the Western Conference. The teams are headed toward a first-round showdown.

Already having dropped the first three meetings against the Comets this season, the Monarchs scored the final eight points of the first half to take a 33-31 lead. They took control in the third quarter.

Walker scored six points in a 9-4 surge that began the third quarter and opened a 42-35 advantage. Scholanda Dorrell's 3-pointer with 1:40 left provided a 56-45 cushion.

The Monarchs coasted home, leading by eight points the entire fourth quarter.

Ticha Penicheiro also had a solid all-around game with eight points, seven rebounds and six assists for Sacramento, which shot 37 percent (25-of-67) from the field and held a 40-33 rebounding advantage.

Michelle Snow scored 18 points and Sheryl Swoopes had 17 and 12 rebounds for the Comets, who shot 42 percent (25-of-60) and committed 19 turnovers.

Houston was without leading scorer Tina Thompson, who missed her 10th straight game with a strained right calf.