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Mercury Back On Top at No. 1

The WNBA playoff picture is not much closer to being settled than it was this time last week. With the exception of Phoenix and Minnesota, nobody else seems to be looking decisively playoff ready.

The Mercury and Lynx remain the exception in many ways this WNBA season; they're the only two teams who have been able to win consistently, maintain momentum and stay above a very muddled fray.

With less than a week left in the regular season, here are the Week 13 power rankings.

1. Phoenix (26-4; last week: No. 2)

The Mercury's big home win Saturday night against Minnesota, the last regular-season game between the league's two powerhouses, puts Phoenix back on the top of this list and likely delivers the Western Conference's top seed. Diana Taurasi's contract extension, signed this week, is a good slingshot into a postseason run. And then she went and hit the game winner against the Lynx. She's ready.

2. Minnesota (24-7; No. 1)

Losing to the Mercury ended an 11-game win streak, but the Lynx are unquestionably right there with Phoenix. Cheryl Reeve would tell you that her team needs to play better defense and buckle down in late-game situations -- and she'd be right. Maya Moore, meanwhile, continues her march to an MVP award.

3. Washington (15-16; No. 8)

The Mystics had an opportunity to nail down their playoff spot against the last-place Sun, but they couldn't pull it off and lost in overtime. They also lost veteran guard Kara Lawson in the game due to a sprained ankle. The extent of the injury wasn't immediately clear. Next up: A crucial home game on Wednesday against Chicago.

4. Atlanta (17-14; No. 3)

The Dream have lost five in a row for the team's longest losing streak since 2008. Despite dropping eight of its last 10, Atlanta might still end up with the No. 1 seed in the East. They played Sunday without Angel McCoughtry (tendinitis in her knee) and will be limping into the playoffs at this point.

5. Chicago (14-17; No. 7)

With Elena Delle Donne back on the floor, the Sky are putting things back together. Chicago has won three of its last four games, the only loss on the road at Minnesota. And there's more good news: Point guard Courtney Vandersloot is preparing to return in time for the postseason after missing the last six weeks with a knee injury.

6. Indiana (14-17; No. 5)

It has been a tough stretch for the Fever with games against Phoenix, Minnesota, Washington and New York, and they ended a three-game losing streak Sunday against the Liberty. The Fever, who have won a franchise-record nine road games, need more of what they got from Tamika Catchings on Sunday, her 29-point game perhaps serving as a sign of better things to come.

7. San Antonio (14-18; No. 11)

The Stars snapped a four-game losing streak on Sunday with a big win over Los Angeles to move within a half-game of third place in the West. The Stars need one win in their final two games to clinch a playoff spot. But they might have to play down the stretch without Danielle Adams, who left the game with concussion symptoms after hitting her head on the floor.

8. Los Angeles (14-17; No. 4)

The Sparks failed to clinch a postseason spot with Sunday's loss in San Antonio, and this team just can't seem to put together any sustained momentum. Nneka Ogwumike's play has been the driving force for L.A. over the past few weeks. But the Sparks still need to shore up their interior defense and get more offense from the backcourt to stand a chance of challenging the Mercury or the Lynx.

9. New York (13-17; No. 6)

The Liberty lost to Indiana on Sunday, but have two more chances to nail down their playoff spot against the Fever in the final week of the season. Of course, first they will have to play host to Phoenix.

10. Seattle (12-20; No. 10)

The Storm, who have won three in a row, need to win out (along with two San Antonio losses) to make their WNBA-record 11th straight playoff appearance. They got a good start on Sunday with a 74-68 win over Tulsa, but it might be too little, too late for a team that has been on a roller-coaster ride all season.

11. Tulsa (12-20; No. 9)

The Shock also need to win out, and that will be a tall task with road games remaining at Atlanta and Minnesota. Finishing games has been Tulsa's issue all season, and 32 games in, that much hasn't changed.

12. Connecticut (12-20; No. 12)

On a day when they knocked off Washington in overtime, the Sun were eliminated from playoff contention. But Connecticut proved that its young team can take some of the league's top-tier teams to the limit and will have to ride those memories into next season. The Sun might be finishing the regular season without guard Katie Douglas, who left Sunday's game in overtime with back pain.