NBA standings 2012: Clippers, Heat are the cream of the crop

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The Los Angeles Clippers have ridden a 14-game winning streak to the top of the Western Conference Standings, while the Miami Heat have leapfrogged the New York Knicks to take the top spot in the East.

The Los Angeles Clippers look virtually unbeatable right now, as they have won 14 consecutive games and leapt to the top of the Western Conference standings. Vinny Del Negro's squad has the best record in the league at 22-6 and currently hold a half game lead over the Northwest Division-leading Oklahoma City Thunder (21-6), who are mired in a mini-slump that has seen them lose two games in a row. Los Angeles has a 3.5-game lead over the Golden State Warriors (19-10) in the Pacific Division.

The Houston Rockets are one of the conference's hottest teams, winning five straight, and have used that hot streak to climb into the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference standings, overtaking the Denver Nuggets (16-14). Despite the winning streak, Houston trails the San Antonio Spurs (22-8) and Memphis Grizzlies (18-8) in the Midwest Division standings.

In the Eastern Conference standings, the Miami Heat (20-6) have leapfrogged the Atlantic Division-leading New York Knicks (21-8) after winning six games in a row, and are currently the hottest team in the conference. Miami has a three-game cushion over the Atlanta Hawks (17-9) in the Southeast Division.

On the other end of the spectrum is a Charlotte Bobcats team (7-21) that has lost 16 consecutive games and continues to fall in the conference standings. The Cleveland Cavaliers (7-23) and Washington Wizards (3-23) are the only teams in the East with a worse record.

The Central Division standings remain close, with the Indiana Pacers (16-12) holding on to a half game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks (15-12) and Chicago Bulls (15-12)

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