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WNBA Power Rankings Week 5: Sun cool, Mercury rise

It has been another headline-grabbing week in the WNBA, but unfortunately not all for the right reasons. Angel Reese decked Caitlin Clark with a hard foul, setting the stage for a mouth-watering rematch this weekend. Meanwhile, fellow rookie Cameron Brink is out for the season with a torn ACL.

Reese’s flagrant foul against Clark was the biggest story of the most recent meeting between the Chicago Sky and Indiana Fever, but Clark’s Indiana squad is quietly putting together a nice little run. It has won four games in a row.

At the top of the league standings, both the Connecticut Sun and New York Liberty have taken losses this week. New York went down to the Phoenix Mercury, while Connecticut got tripped by the Las Vegas Aces.

Here is a look at the latest WNBA power rankings.  

1. New York Liberty (13-3, 2nd Eastern Conference) 

New York did well to rebound from a rare loss at Phoenix by hammering Los Angeles 93-80 on Thursday. Sabrina Ionescu poured in 31 points and Jonquel Jones contributed 22. Ionescu has scored at least 19 in five of the last seven outings and the Liberty are 9-1 in their last 10. 

2. Connecticut Sun (13-2, 1st Eastern Conference) 

The Sun still lead the overall WNBA standings, but they lost to New York last Saturday and their performance against Las Vegas on Friday night was less than encouraging. Connecticut will continue to be tested with four of its next five games on the road. Alyssa Thomas leads the WNBA in assists with 8.1 per contest. 

3. Minnesota Lynx (12-3, 1st Western Conference) 

The Lynx had the most impressive week, defeating Seattle at home by 19 points before going on the road and knocking off the Aces, 100-86, and finishing off the week with a five-point win over Los Angeles. Minnesota has won six of seven.  

4. Las Vegas Aces (8-6, 3rd Western Conference) 

These look more like the Aces that have won back-to-back WNBA titles. Las Vegas was 5-5 through 10 games but has now won three of its last four, with a loss only to New York during this stretch.

A’ja Wilson continues to cement herself as the WNBA’s best player, leading the way in both scoring (27.8 ppg) and rebounding (11.6 rpg).

5. Seattle Storm (9-6, 2nd Western Conference) 

Seattle was taking the league by storm with an 8-1 record from May 22 through June 13. However, consecutive losses to Phoenix and Las Vegas have brought the club back to Earth. Nneka Ogwumike is averaging 19.8 points and 7.25 rebounds over the past four outings. 

6. Phoenix Mercury (8-7, 4th Western Conference) 

Break up the Mercury! They were 4-6 through 10 games but have won four of their last five, including victories over New York, Minnesota and Seattle. Diana Taurasi is still going strong at 42 years old with 16.9 ppg, while Brittney Griner is contributing 21.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg and 1.8 bpg since tipping off her season two weeks ago.  

7. Indiana Fever (7-10, 4th Eastern Conference) 

Clark has been getting pushed around early in her professional career, but the Fever – finally – are starting to push back themselves. They were 0-5 through five games and 1-8 through nine, but suddenly they are 6-2 in their last eight. Kelsey Mitchell has scored at least 18 points five times already this month.

8. Atlanta Dream (6-8, 3rd Eastern Conference) 

Once 4-2, the Dream are now 6-8. They have lost to Indiana twice in the last nine days after getting blown out by Clark and company at home on Friday night. To make matters worse, Atlanta’s next three games are vs. New York, at Connecticut and at New York.

9. Chicago Sky (5-9, 5th Eastern Conference) 

Reese and the Sky get another shot at Clark and the Fever on Sunday. The first two matchups (both on the road) did not go well for Chicago, which lost 71-70 on June 1 and 91-83 last weekend. Will home-court advantage do anything to change things? It’s possible. The Sky are 3-3 in their last six at home following Thursday’s 83-72 victory over Dallas.

10. Los Angeles Sparks (4-12, 5th Western Conference) 

Things have gone from bad to worse for the Sparks. They were already on a three-game losing streak and then lost star rookie Cameron Brink for the season due to a torn ACL on Tuesday night. Los Angeles lost that game to Connecticut before falling at New York on Thursday, so the skid has reached five. It doesn’t get any easier with New York (again) and Phoenix coming up on the schedule. 

11. Dallas Wings (3-11, 6th Western Conference) 

The cellar of these power rankings – and the WNBA standings – will be determined by a pair of head-to-head showdowns between Dallas and Washington this weekend. Right now the Wings are a better team...but not by a lot. They won three of their first five contests and have since lost nine in a row. On the bright side, Arike Ogunbowale is second in the league in scoring at 25.4 ppg. 

12. Washington Mystics (2-13, 6th Eastern Conference) 

After starting the season 0-12, the Mystics suddenly won two games in a row over Atlanta and Chicago. A loss to Indiana on Wednesday ended the winning streak, but at least this team is no longer entirely hopeless. Brittney Sykes is back after missing 10 games because of an ankle injury and she is averaging 11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

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