The OKC Thunder climb into the top-ten for the first time this season, while the Bucks, Lakers and Raptors continue to hold down the top three spots in this week's updated NBA Power Rankings.
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1. Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks, riding a four-game winning streak, are fresh off another undefeated week. They have now won 18 of their past 20 games. Incredibly, their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is down to just three, and we're still haven't reached the All-Star break!
2. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers decided to sit tight at the trade deadline, reportedly unwilling to include Kyle Kuzma in any packages. Nonetheless, LA was hoping to add some depth in their backcourt by signing Darren Collison. Yet, the former Pacer point guard decided he won't be coming out of retirement.
3. Toronto Raptors
Incredibly, the Raptors have reeled off 14 straight victories. Not only is that the longest winning streak in franchise history, but it's also the longest win streak by any Canadian franchise in the NHL, MLB or the NBA.
4. Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets parted ways with Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez at the deadline, acquiring a 2020 1st round draft pick, Keita Bates-Diop, and Jordan McRae in the process. Denver also won all three games they played last week and are just three games behind the Lakers for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
5. Boston Celtics
The Celtics won their seventh straight game on Sunday afternoon, knocking off the Thunder in OKC. Boston has also won ten of their last 11 contests, yet, remarkably, have lost ground on the Raptors during this 11-game stretch.
6. LA Clippers
The Clippers played without Kawhi Leonard on Sunday, but still thrashed the Cavs in Cleveland, 133-92. It was the Cavaliers' worst home defeat in franchise history. Marcus Morris, whom the Clips acquire from New York at the deadline, provided immediate dividends. He started in place of Kawhi and scored 10 points in LA debut.
7. Miami Heat
Andre Iguodala made his Heat debut on Sunday, finishing with two points, six rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block in 23 minutes. However, the less-heralded new addition, Jae Crowder, had a more substantial impact. Crowder tallied 18 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, five trifectas, two steals and a block in 35 minutes off the bench.
8. Utah Jazz
The Jazz was fading, losers of five straight games after falling to the Nuggets at home on Wednesday night. However, they beat the Blazers in a nail-biter on Friday (thanks in part to a generous no-call on a Rudy Gobert goaltend). Then, Sunday night in Houston, Utah was down two with less than two seconds left, before Bojan Bogdanovic buried a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer. Bogdanovic was just 1-of-6 from the floor at the moment he left that final shot fly.
9. Oklahoma City Thunder
Coming into this season, it was almost universally assumed that the Thunder would sellers at the trade deadline, likely parting ways with veteran forward Danilo Gallinari, among others. Instead, at 12 games above .500 and sitting in sixth in the Western Conference, OKC decided to keep the band together in the hopes of making some noise in the postseason this year.
10. Houston Rockets
After trading Clint Capela in a deal that netted them Robert Covington, the Rockets have gone all-in their small-ball, pace-and-space approach. As a result, they will be one of the more fascinating teams to watch down the stretch, and especially in the playoffs.
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11. Philadelphia 76ers
What a weekend for Sixer reserve Furkan Korkmaz. After pouring a career-high 34 points vs. Memphis on Friday, Korkmaz scored 31 points on Sunday, making 12-of-17 field goals and 6-of-11 triples with five rebounds, three steals and two assists in 32 minutes. Per Basketball-Reference, he became just the third player this decade with at least 30 points and five rebounds off the bench in back-to-back games.
12. Dallas Mavericks
Dallas was able to beat the Hornets Saturday night despite playing without Luka Doncic (ankle) and Kristaps Porzingis (knee). Luka has missed six straight contests and won't play on Monday, but coach Rick Carlisle told reporters Saturday night that Doncic is making progress and may return to action before the All-Star break. "That's the hope, it's not definite, but we're hopeful," Carlisle said.
13. Indiana Pacers
In late January, it seemed all was right in Pacers-land. The team was 14 games over .500 at 31-17 and had just welcomed Victor Oladipo back into the lineup. However, Indy is now riding a five-game losing streak and has lost six of their last seven (with the only victory coming against the Bulls in overtime). They have not won a game in regulation since January 24th.
14. Memphis Grizzlies
Ja Morant messed around and recorded his first career triple-double in Sunday's victory over the Wizards, tallying 27 points, ten dimes, and ten boards. According to Basketball-Reference, he's the fourth-youngest player in NBA history to post a 25-point triple-double, behind only Luka Doncic, LeBron James and Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
15. Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard has gotten most of the attention, and rightfully so, for his incredible recent hot streak; however, Gary Trent Jr. has also provided the Blazers with a significant boost of late. Trent drilled five 3-pointers en route to 22 points (on 8-of-11 shooting), to go along with four rebounds and four steals in 33 minutes off the bench in Portland's 115-109 win over the Heat on Sunday. It was his fourth straight game in double-figures and he is averaging 16.8 points (on 60% shooting), 3.8 treys and 2.3 steals during this four-game stretch.
16. New Orleans Pelicans
Heading into the weekend, New Orleans was 9-3 in their previous 12 road games, but were forced to play without their two leading scorers, starting forwards Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson on Saturday night. In addition, Jrue Holiday was slumping, averaging just 9.0 points per game over his previous three contests. However, Holiday put the Pels on his back and carried them to victory over the Pacers, pouring in a game-high 31 points, with six rebounds, ten assists, three steals and four 3-pointers in 32 minutes. He scored 14 of his 31 points in the final 2:30 of the fourth quarter.
17. Brooklyn Nets
Kyrie Irving (right knee) has been ruled out for Monday's matchup with the Pacers, and it's looking increasingly likely that he will be held out through the All-Star Break. After Monday, the Nets host the Raptors on Wednesday and then don't play again until Thursday, February 20th.
18. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have lost four straight games, and things don't get any easier this week. San Antonio still has four contests remaining on its brutal eight-game road trip. They don't play at home again until February 26th.
19. Orlando Magic
The bad news is the Magic are nine games under .500 at 22-31 this season. The good news is that Orland has the same exact record through 53 games last season, before catching fire in the second half finishing the year at 42-40, and qualifying for the postseason.
20. Phoenix Suns
Deandre Ayton has been playing his best basketball of the season this month for the Suns. In the five games Phoenix has played in February, Ayton is averaging 22.2 points, 13.6 boards, 3.4 dimes and 2.0 blocks in 34.2 mins. However, he is battling left ankle soreness and will be a game-time decision for Monday's matchup with the Lakers.
21. Sacramento Kings
We know that Marvin Bagley III, who has missed 39 of Sacramento's 52 games this season, will be sidelined through at least the All-Star break later this month, but it sounds like it could be longer than that. When GM Vlade Divac was asked this weekend if Bagley might have to be shut down for the remainder of the season, he replied: "I hope not."
22. Washington Wizards
Despite dropping a close game to the Grizzlies on Sunday night, the Wizards have won three of their last five contests and find themselves within shouting distance of the final playoff spot in the East. Washington is currently just three games back of the eighth-seeded Orlando Magic.
23. Chicago Bulls
The Bulls are literally limping towards the All-Star Break. This past weekend they played without Denzel Valentine (strained hamstring) and Daniel Gafford (ankle), who joined Lauri Markkanen (right hip), Otto Porter Jr. (broken left foot), Wendell Carter (sprained right ankle) and Kris Dunn (sprained right knee) on the sidelines. Chicago has just one more game (Tuesday at Washington) before the break.
24. New York Knicks
The Knicks rolled into Sunday's showdown with the Hawks riding a four-game winning streak, their longest of the season, and tied for their longest in the last five years. And, it appeared they were a lock to make it five in a row with just 90 seconds left in the first overtime, as New York held an eight-point lead and had the ball. However, they went scoreless on their final five possessions and allowed ATL to score eight straight points to force a second overtime, in which the Hawks outscored them 14-9.
25. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Wolves blowout victory over the Clippers not only snapped the team's 13-game losing streak; it was also Karl-Anthony Towns' first win since November 27th (the day before Thanksgiving). Malik Beasley made quite the first impression in that contest. Beasley scored 20 points in the first half alone and finished with 23 points, ten rebounds, four assists, seven triples and one steal in 29 minutes in his Wolves debut.
26. Detroit Pistons
Not only did the Pistons trade away starting center Andre Drummond, but Detroit is also dealing with a rough rash of injuries. They were missing Derrick Rose (left hip), Luke Kennard (knee), Markieff Morris (illness), Brandon Knight (left knee) and Svi Mykhailiuk (right hip) in Saturday's loss to the Knicks.
27. Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks traded for Clint Capela at the deadline, and Atlanta now has their own "Big 3," with Capela, John Collins and Trae Young forming the foundation upon which the Hawks will build their franchise. With Capela sidelined by a nagging heel injury, Young and Collins put on a show Sunday in the ATL. In a double-overtime victory over New York, the tag-team duo combined for 80 points, 17 rebounds and 16 assists.
28. Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets waived Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams over the weekend. Wild to think that back in the summer of 2016, Charlotte signed Nicolas Batum to a five-year, $120 million contract and Marvin Williams to a four-year, $54.5 million pact. Oh, and in 2015, they inked Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to a four-year, $52 million extension.
29. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs made arguably the most surprising trade last week, acquiring Andre Drummond from Detroit. Cleveland had to give up very little (Brandon Knight, John Henson and a second-round pick), but the reason the Pistons were willing to sell low was that they were afraid that Drummond would pick up his $28.7 million player option for the 2020-21 season. The Cavs reportedly would be "fine" with Drummond opting in have even discussed the possibility of giving Drummond a long-term extension.
30. Golden State Warriors
In one of the most hotly-debated deals at the deadline, the Warriors traded D'Angelo Russell, Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman to the Timberwolves in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, a protected 2021 first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick. Wiggins tallied 24 points (8-of-12 FGs, 5-of-9 FTs) with three assists, two rebounds, five steals, and three triples in his Golden State debut on Saturday night.