THE three teams immediately below WNBL leaders Bendigo kept the pressure on, as they all scored weekend wins while the Spirit had a bye.
As Bendigo (6-0) rested, Adelaide (5-1), Dandenong (5-2), and Canberra (4-2) all took an opportunity to close the gap.
Adelaide had its fifth straight win since an opening-round loss to Bendigo, with a 74-55 home victory over Bulleen (3-4) on Sunday.
Opals' centre Suzy Batkovic dominated, piling up 27 points and 11 rebounds for the Lightning.
Reigning premiers Dandenong stayed in touch with a road double in Queensland. The Rangers won 102-81 at Logan (2-4) and 76-63 at Townsville (2-4), with Kathleen MacLeod top scored for Dandenong in each game.
Canberra had its third straight victory - all at home and all by four points or less - with a 60-56 home defeat of hapless Sydney (0-6).
In a low-scoring scrap, Brigitte Ardossi excelled with 22 points and 14 boards.
If injured Canberra star Lauren Jackson does finally return from injury next week, she will find herself pitched into matches against the top two teams.
Bulleen split its road trip winning 78-50 at West Coast (1-5), with Rachel Jarry scoring 18 and Alice Kunek 17 for the Boomers.