HOW THEY RANK

Los Angeles Times - - INSIDE THE NBA - Brod­er­ick Turner ranks the 30 teams. Last week’s rank­ing in paren­the­ses, statis­tics are through Fri­day’s games:

1. GOLDEN STATE: Last regular-sea­son mo­ti­va­tional car­rot left is to get best record to se­cure home court in play­offs. (1)

2. CLEVE­LAND: Pick­ing up the de­fense. Dur­ing 17-game home win­ning streak, only one op­po­nent scored 100-plus points. (2)

3. SAN AN­TO­NIO: Ex­tended NBA record of win­ning at least 50 games in a sea­son to 16 straight. (6)

4. AT­LANTA: Still mak­ing his­tory. Needs just two more wins to set a fran­chise record for wins in a sea­son at 58. (3)

5. HOUS­TON: Play­ing all-out for two seed in West to face Dal­las in play­offs. A three seed prob­a­bly means fac­ing Spurs. (4)

6. CLIP­PERS: Re­sponded to tough loss to War­riors with big win at Port­land. Try­ing to se­cure home court for play­offs. (5)

7. MEM­PHIS: Locked in a battle with Rock­ets for two seed. Grizzlies would rather face sev­enth­seeded Mav­er­icks. (8)

8. CHICAGO: Pau Ga­sol has 50 dou­ble-dou­bles, the first Bull to have at least 50 since Charles Oak­ley had 53 in 86-87. (7)

9. PORT­LAND: Won North­west Di­vi­sion ti­tle. But can the Trail Blaz­ers get the home-court ad­van­tage in the play­offs? (9)

10. NEW OR­LEANS: Pel­i­cans keep heat on the Thun­der. Just a half-game be­hind OKC for the eighth play­off spot. (15)

11. BROOK­LYN: Mak­ing a move. Won sea­son-high six straight games to move to sev­enth spot in East play­off race. (17)

12. DAL­LAS: Prob­a­bly will be the seven seed in the West. Will need a healthy Chan­dler Par­sons (sore right knee). (12)

13. TORONTO: Kyle Lowry (back) has missed seven of eight games. Rap­tors went 4-4 with All-Star point guard out. (11)

14. WASH­ING­TON: John Wall car­ry­ing Wiz­ards. Ca­reer-high 18 as­sists, 33 in last two games, 91 points in three-game span. (13)

15. OK­LA­HOMA CITY: Can Rus­sell West­brook carry team down stretch? Two straight losses show he needs help. (10)

16. MIL­WAU­KEE: Win two, lose two, win two. Though up and down, Bucks still have hold on sixth play­off spot. (14)

17. MIAMI: Bad news: Dwyane Wade in­jured knee. Good news: Knee just sore. OK news: Cling­ing to eighth play­off spot. (19)

18. BOS­TON: This un­der-.500team still in play­off hunt for eighth spot in East de­spite be­ing 2-2 in last four games. (24)

19. PHOENIX: Has lost NBAhigh five times on go-ahead bas­ket with less than five sec­onds left in the game. (18)

20. IN­DI­ANA: Paul Ge­orge (right leg) to re­turn af­ter miss­ing en­tire sea­son. All-Star for­ward will help play­off push. (20)

21. CHAR­LOTTE: May shut down Al Jef­fer­son (knee) af­ter los­ing five of last seven games. Play­off chances di­min­ish­ing. (21)

22. DETROIT: An­dre Drum­mond first Pis­ton to have at least 1,000 points, 1,000 re­bounds, 100 blocks two sea­sons in row. (22)

23. UTAH: De­spite not go­ing to play­offs, back win­ning again with three-game win streak af­ter los­ing four in a row. (24)

24. OR­LANDO: Nikola Vuce­vic had 37 points against T’Wolves. His 43 dou­ble-dou­bles tied for third best in NBA. (26)

25. DEN­VER: Back to los­ing ways, the Nuggets have dropped three con­sec­u­tive games, and seven of last nine games. (23)

26. SACRA­MENTO: Do­ing it all, DeMar­cus Cousins had back-to­back triple-dou­bles, in­clud­ing a ca­reer-high 13 as­sists. (25)

27. LAK­ERS: Other than im­pres­sive play by rookie Jor­dan Clark­son, there’s lit­tle to say – ex­cept “Lotto. Lotto.” (28)

28. PHILADEL­PHIA: May not be tank­ing (wink-wink!), but the 76ers did lose to lowly Lak­ers twice over eight days. (27)

29. MIN­NESOTA: Has lost at least 60 games for ninth time in fran­chise his­tory. Rookie An­drew Wig­gins gives hope. (29)

30. NEW YORK: In let­ter, video to sea­son-ticket hold­ers, Phil Jack­son asked fans to “re­main op­ti­mistic” for next sea­son. (30)

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