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NBA Power Rankings: Trail Blazers, Clippers, Cavaliers climb

Shaun Livingston and the Warriors grab the top spot in this week's rankings.Getty Images

1. Golden State Warriors (17-2, Previous: 2) - It's all gold in the Golden State right now as the Warriors have won 12 straight games. Home, road, it doesn't matter. The T-Wolves should seriously consider forfeiting Monday's game against them.

2. San Antonio Spurs (15-5, Previous: 4) - Tim Duncan became the second-oldest player to record a triple-double (Karl Malone is oldest) in a win over the Grizzlies Friday night. I won't take this team for granted again this season.

3. Houston Rockets (16-4, Previous: 5) - The Rockets are 7-2 since Dwight Howard's knee injury, and it looks like they'll have to keep on winning without him as the reports are he's not coming back anytime soon.

4. Memphis Grizzlies (16-4, Previous: 1) - Losses to the Rockets and Spurs knock Memphis off the top spot, but they recovered nicely with a 103-87 win over the Heat on Sunday. Griz continue to play stingy defense.

5. Portland Trail Blazers (16-4, Previous: 8) - Read a funny article after the Blazers beat the Knicks that said Knicks fans would love LaMarcus Aldridge in New York. Gee… ya really think they'd want one of the best power forwards in the game?! Why the heck would he want NY though?

6. Toronto Raptors (15-5, Previous: 3) - Toronto is 2-3 over its last five games, and just got beaten bad by the Cavs in Toronto. Not having DeMar DeRozan really hurts them.

7. Dallas Mavericks (16-6, Previous: 6) - Last two losses have been by double-digits at home. That's a little strange, but this Mavs team sure knows how to score. Toughen up on defense and now we're talking.

8. Los Angeles Clippers (14-5, Previous: 12) - It's about time the Clippers started playing basketball the way they can. Seven straight wins for Doc Rivers' team as they climb back into contention with the top teams in the West.

9. Cleveland Cavaliers (11-7, Previous: 13) - Ah ha, now this is more like it. Six straight wins for the Cavaliers. They get the Raptors again on Tuesday before heading to OKC for Thursday. Those will be fun games.

10. Washington Wizards (13-6, Previous: 7) - Paul Pierce made his return trip to Boston Sunday, but his team couldn't get him a win, despite a big fourth-quarter run. Still, look for Washington to sit near the top of the East.

11. Phoenix Suns (12-9, Previous: 10) - What word could you use to describe the Suns offense? Balanced. Their top five scorers are separated by 1.5 points.

12. Chicago Bulls (12-8, Previous: 9) - Can't fault them for the losses to the Mavs and Warriors, but it does give you a little idea as to where they are compared to those good teams in the West.

13. Atlanta Hawks (13-6, Previous: 17) - The Hawks are rolling right now, having ripped off six straight wins. Jeff Teague is making a case for the All-Star team, leading the team with17.3 points and 7.1 assists per game.

14. Miami Heat (9-11, Previous: 11) - Currently owning a four-game losing streak after getting smoked by the Grizzlies on Sunday. The Heat still have three more games on the road before they head back to Miami.

15. New Orleans Pelicans (9-10, Previous: 14) - New Orleans got back on track with a 104-87 win over the Lakers on Sunday. But let's see how it goes for upcoming games against the Mavs, Cavs, and Warriors. Won't be so easy.

16. Oklahoma City Thunder (7-13, Previous: 27) - Russell Westbrook is back. Kevin Durant is back. And this team is about to climb back up the standings (and power rankings).

17. Milwaukee Bucks (11-11, Previous: 16) - When you take a look at the current Eastern Conference playoff teams, this is the one that looks a little out of place. Can they keep pace all season?

18. Sacramento Kings (10-10, Previous: 15) - The Kings are finding out that life without DeMarcus Cousins is very hard. Cousins, who was having a breakout season, is recovering from viral meningitis and has missed the last five games, with expectations that he's going to miss more.

19. Denver Nuggets (9-11, Previous: 19) - Denver had climbed above .500 before a three-game losing streak changed things. Kenneth Faried called his play "awful" recently, and he may be on to something, as his averages this season are all below his career averages.

20. Brooklyn Nets (8-10, Previous: 18) - Another injury for Brook Lopez, this time to his back. The Nets really can't afford this, as they'll be fighting for a playoff spot this year.

21. Indiana Pacers (7-13, Previous: 23) - The Pacers go 0-4 on their four-game road trip and continue to have problems offensively. They rank 26th in points per game (93.5) and dead last in assists per game (19.0).

22. Boston Celtics (7-11, Previous: 24) - The Celtics are still having a hard time holding onto fourth quarter leads, but they're not completely blowing every single one of them. Progress.

23. Orlando Magic (9-14, Previous: 22) - Going 3-3 on their road trip is about the best these guys could have hoped for, and they finished it with two wins. Tobias Harris has stepped up for Orlando this year.

24. Charlotte Hornets (5-15, Previous: 20) - It took a Kemba Walker buzzer-beater to beat the lowly Knicks, but the Hornets will take wins any way they can get them right now.

25. Utah Jazz (5-15, Previous: 21) - Eight straight losses for the Jazz, and I refuse to say that losing streak has them singing the blues. But I think I just did.

26. Detroit Pistons (3-18, Previous: 25) - Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse for the Pistons, they go an lose to the 76ers. OK, now things can't get any worse.

27. New York Knicks (4-18, Previous: 26) - Knicks coming in hot! Except the opposite. Eight straight losses for these guys, and this is officially their worst start in franchise history.

28. Los Angeles Lakers (5-16, Previous: 28) - These are dark days for the Lakers, and yes I am shocked Kobe Bryant hasn't publicly ripped his team yet. Anyyyy minute now . . .

29. Minnesota Timberwolves (4-15, Previous: 29) - I can't imagine being a fan of this franchise. I can't, and I won't.

30. Philadelphia 76ers (2-18, Previous: 30) - It's true, the 76ers finally won. Who cares that it was against the T-Wolves and Pistons?

 
 
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