2012 NBA standings: Thunder atop Western Conference, Knicks best in East

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

With a little more than a quarter of the 2012-13 NBA season in the books, the Thunder and Knicks are emerging as the teams to beat in their respective conferences.

The Oklahoma City Thunder (21-4) are the NBA's hottest team, winners of 12 consecutive games, and have managed to hold off a surging Los Angeles Clippers squad in the Western Conference standings in the process.

Kevin Durant and company hold a two-game lead over the Clippers (19-6) in the Western Conference standings, despite the Clippers rattling off 11 wins in a row since Nov. 26. After starting the season hot, the Memphis Grizzlies (17-6) and San Antonio Spurs (19-8) have cooled off a bit lately and are tied for third place in the conference, with each of them posting a 6-4 mark over their last 10 games.

The Thunder have a comfortable 7.5-game lead over the Denver Nuggets (14-12) in the Northwest Division, while the Clippers have a 2.5-game cushion over the Golden State Warriors (17-9) in the Pacific. The Grizzlies and Spurs are knotted at the top of the Southwest Division.

The complete Western Conference standings are as follows:


Western Standings

GP W-L PCT
Oklahoma City Thunder 25 21-4 .840
Los Angeles Clippers 25 19-6 .760
Memphis Grizzlies 23 17-6 .739
San Antonio Spurs 27 19-8 .704
Golden State Warriors 26 17-9 .654
Denver Nuggets 26 14-12 .538
Minnesota Timberwolves 23 12-11 .522
Houston Rockets 25 13-12 .520
Utah Jazz 27 14-13 .519
Dallas Mavericks 25 12-13 .480
Portland Trail Blazers 23 11-12 .478
Los Angeles Lakers 26 12-14 .462
Phoenix Suns 26 11-15 .423
Sacramento Kings 25 8-17 .320
New Orleans Hornets 25 5-20 .200

In the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks (19-6) have a 1.5-game lead over the defending champion Miami Heat (16-6). The Atlanta Hawks (15-8) are lurking in third place in the conference, three games back of the Knicks, while the Chicago Bulls (14-10) have a one-game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks (13-11) for fourth place.

The Knicks have a healthy six-game lead over the Brooklyn Nets (13-12) in the Atlantic Division, while the Bulls lead the Bucks by a game in the Central. Miami has extended its lead over Atlanta in the Southeast Division to 1.5 games with two wins in a row.

The complete Eastern Conference standings appear below.


Eastern Standings

GP W-L PCT
New York Knicks 25 19-6 .760
Miami Heat 22 16-6 .727
Atlanta Hawks 23 15-8 .652
Chicago Bulls 24 14-10 .583
Milwaukee Bucks 24 13-11 .542
Indiana Pacers 26 14-12 .538
Brooklyn Nets 25 13-12 .520
Boston Celtics 25 13-12 .520
Orlando Magic 25 12-13 .480
Philadelphia 76ers 26 12-14 .462
Toronto Raptors 27 8-19 .296
Charlotte Bobcats 25 7-18 .280
Detroit Pistons 28 7-21 .250
Cleveland Cavaliers 27 5-22 .185
Washington Wizards 23 3-20 .130


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