WNBA.com Power Rankings: July 25, 2006

With only three weeks remaining in the regular season, things are really starting to heat up and the battles for playoff positions are starting to get intense. In this week's Power Rankings, the Sacramento Monarchs move up a couple spots to replace the Detroit Shock at No. 2, and the Shock and Sun continue to switch places as the top Eastern Conference team.

2006 WNBA.com POWER RANKINGS: Week Nine
TEAM (last)
Despite losing to the Detroit Shock on Friday, 73-59, the Sparks remain No. 1 after finishing the week 2-1 and winning seven of their last eight overall. Lisa Leslie averaged 17.7 points and nine rebounds for the week including two double-doubles against the Liberty and the Shock.
Upcoming: at Houston, at San Antonio
2 16-8

The Monarchs are the league's hottest team after winning eight straight and nine of their last ten. Last week, after beating Seattle on the road, 74-61, the Monarchs continued to dominate the East as they defeated the Liberty, 71-62, and the Lynx, 86-59. Sacramento is 10-0 against Eastern Conference teams this season.
Upcoming: at Indiana, at Detroit

3 17-6 The Sun remain in the No. 3 spot, but move ahead of the Detroit Shock in this week's Rankings. After finishing the week 2-0, the Sun also remain one game ahead of the Shock in the standings. On Thursday, Katie Douglas scored 19 points to lead the Sun past the Sky, 86-72, and two days later Margo Dydek filled up the box score as she tallied 18 points, eight rebounds, and six blocks in a 79-61 win over the Silver Stars.
Upcoming: at New York, vs. Washington
16-7 Detroit slips behind the Sun in the Power Rankings and remain one game out of first place in the East despite finishing the week 2-1, including a 73-59 win over the Los Angeles Sparks. The Shock started the week by losing to the Sting at home, 73-67, and finished the week with a 19-point win over the Sky.
Upcoming: vs. Sacramento, at Seattle

The Fever are No. 5 in the Power Rankings for the third week in a row after splitting their two games last week. Tamika Catchings, who signed a contract extension last week, led the Fever in scoring in both games as she finished with 17 points and seven rebounds in a win over the Mercury on Tuesday and 27 points in a losing effort to the Sparks on Saturday.
Upcoming: vs. Sacramento, vs. Washington


The Houston Comets won only their second game of their last seven when they defeated the Minnesota Lynx, 78-55, to finish the week 1-1. Sheryl Swoopes scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Comets limited the Lynx rookie All-Star Seimone Augustus to only 15 points on 6-18 shooting in the win.
Upcoming: vs. Los Angeles, vs. Phoenix


The Storm went 2-2 in an eventful week. About an hour after being sold to an Oklahoma City group, the Storm looked distracted as they lost to the Sacramento Monarchs, 74-61. Two days later, the Storm lost to the Charlotte Sting, 86-72. Anne Donovan's team then won two in a row on the road against the Liberty and the Mystics. Lauren Jackson led the Storm in both wins while, 18 points and 10 rebounds to finish the week. Five of Seattle's remaining nine will be played on the road.
Upcoming: at Phoenix, vs. Detroit

8 12-12 Alana Beard led the Mystics in scoring in all three games played last week as the Mystics finished the week 1-2. After scoring 23 points in a 96-83 loss to the Mercury on Wednesday and scoring 18 in a 80-77 win over the Silver Stars, Beard scored a career-high 30 points in a losing effort to the Storm, 73-71 on Sunday. The Mystics remain in fourth place in the East as they are five games ahead of the fifth place-Sting and three games behind the third place Fever.
Upcoming: at Connecticut, vs. Chicago
Phoenix (10)
11-12 Diana Taurasi's impressive scoring numbers are finally paying off for the Mercury, who are now within one game of the fourth place Seattle Storm after winning two in a row and seven of their last 12. The Mercury started the week off cold as Taurasi only scored 7 points in a 71-65 loss to the Fever, but things quickly turned around as they went on to beat the Mystics on Wednesday, 96-83, and the Sting on Saturday, 78-74.
Upcoming: vs. Seattle, at Houston
10 10-13 The Silver Stars returned home from a 0-3 road trip to post a 67-64 win over the Comets to start the week, but have lost two in a row since. On Friday, the Silver Stars lost to the Mystics at home, 80-77, and the following day Sophia Young's 18 points and 11 rebounds weren't enough to put the Silver Stars past the Sun as they went on to lose, 79-61. San Antonio has dropped to sixth place in the West, two games behind the fourth place Storm.
Upcoming: vs. Los Angeles, vs. Phoenix
5-16 The Sting, who finished the first half of the season with a 3-16 record, are now 4-1 in the second half after going 2-1 last week. Charlotte began the week with two impressive wins over the Shock, 73-67, and the Storm, 86-72, but their season-long winning streak came to an end as they lost to the Mercury, 78-74, to end the week. The Sting are five games out of the final playoff position in the East.
Upcoming: vs. Minnesota, at Minnesota
8-15 Assistant coach Carolyn Jenkins took over as interim head coach after head coach Suzie McConnell Serio resigned on Sunday after the Lynx finished the week with a 1-2 record. After defeating the Sky, 90-82, the Lynx went on to lose to the Comets and Monarchs by an average of 25 points.
Upcoming: at Charlotte, vs. Charlotte
Chicago (13)
3-20 The Sky's losing streak has extended to six after losing three straight on the road. The Sky have not won a road game since their first game of the season and now hold a 1-11 road record.
Upcoming: vs. New York, at Washington
4-19 The Liberty remain in last place this week, but things may change if they can beat the Sky on Tuesday. As for now, the Libs finished the week without a win, going 0-3, including a 37 point loss to the Seattle Storm on Saturday. The Liberty have now lost 10 in a row.
Upcoming: vs. Connecticut, at Chicago