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NBA power rankings: The Hawks are still flying high

Atlanta continued building on its franchise-best streak while Klay Thompson built up his All-Star game résumé.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

1. Atlanta Hawks (37-8, Last week: 1)

The Hawks' winning streak is up to 16 games. It's now been an entire month since they lost. Until further notice, the Hawks are the hottest team in the NBA.

2. Golden State Warriors (36-6, Last week: 2)

How many teams have two players able to go off for 50 points on any given night? Klay Thompson's 37-point quarter against the Sacramento Kings was unbelievable and the best proof possible he's worth every penny of the four-year, $70 million contract he signed with Golden State. That performance should have locked up his spot as a Western Conference All-Star reserve.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (31-12, Last week: 3)

Another year, another gauntlet in the West for playoff seeding. The Grizzlies currently hold on to the No. 2 seed, but aren't even in the top-10 defensively this season. A loss to Dallas last week was a missed opportunity to add some distance between themselves and a rival, but the teams dance again this Tuesday.

4. Portland Trail Blazers (32-13, Last week:4)

LaMarcus Aldridge's decision to play on despite having a ligament tear in his left thumb is being hailed by teammates as heroic. He dumped 26 points on the Washington Wizards in his first game back, but did so on 22 shots. How this injury affects Aldridge is going to be a huge point to watch going forward.

5. Houston Rockets (31-14, Last week: 5)

Houston has consistently stuck around in the top-five, even with Dwight Howard missing time throughout the season. It's been all about James Harden, as the Rockets are scoring 16.1 points more per 100 possessions when he's on the floor.

Or, you can just see how his dribble penetration, ability to finish at the rim and court vision set up everything for the Rockets:

So easy Josh Smith is draining threes.

6. Los Angeles Clippers (30-14, Last week: 11)

The Clippers are opportunistic risers while the rest of the 5-10 ranked teams struggle. Los Angeles has been good all season, but blowing out the Brooklyn Nets by 39 points followed by a 20-point victory over the Suns is enough to push ahead of the pack.

7. Dallas Mavericks (30-15, Last week: 6)

The Mavericks no longer have the best offense in the NBA, dropping to second while averaging 110.8 points per 100 possessions. The Rajon Rondo trade has been a mixed bag, but the results haven't been particularly surprising. Dallas' offensive efficiency is taking a dip while its defense is improving.

8. Washington Wizards (30-15, Last week: 7)

First, ugh, this pass from John Wall is filthy:

Second, not a great week for Washington, but enough to stay in the top-10. Losses to Oklahoma City and Portland, and an ugly game against Denver, drop the Wizards this week.

9. San Antonio Spurs (29-17, Last week: 8)

The Spurs have lost just one game since Kawhi Leonard's return, running into Derrick Rose on a former-MVP Rose night. Their game against the Clippers on Saturday is a big one in the Western Conference.

10. Chicago Bulls (29-17, Last week: 9)

Wins over the Spurs and Mavericks were big for Chicago, but losses to Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers to bookend the week still leave questions about this team. Tuesday against the Warriors should be a lot of fun.

11. Toronto Raptors (29-15, Last week: 10)

The Raptors dodged a three-game losing streak in alarming fashion. The Philadelphia 76ers gave them a run for their money, opening with a 15-0 run, and the Brandon Jennings-less Detroit Pistons almost caught them off guard as well. The best thing for Toronto this week? Kyle Lowry made the All-Star team as a starter.

12. New Orleans Pelicans (23-21, Last week: 16)

The Pelicans finally closed out the Mavericks on Sunday after losing to them by five points in their previous two meetings this season. The loss to New York on Monday was ugly, but Anthony Davis didn't play.

13. Phoenix Suns (26-20, Last week: 12)

The Suns caught the Trail Blazers without Aldridge, beat up the bruised Los Angeles Lakers, then lost two big games to the Clippers and Rockets. The Suns have been able to do just enough to hold onto their playoff spot all season, but they're about to be tested with games against the Wizards, Bulls, Warriors and Grizzlies next.

14. Cleveland Cavaliers (25-20, Last week: 14)

It certainly feels like LeBron James is ALL the way back after his great performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. The Cavaliers have gone 6-1 since James' return and are starting to make up for the pedestrian first half of their season.


15. Oklahoma City Thunder (22-22, Last week: 13)

The Thunder had a chance for two big wins and instead came up empty against both the Hawks and the Cavaliers. Oklahoma City still hasn't found a groove since getting healthy, and at the midway point and out of the playoffs, that's starting to look worrisome.

16. Milwaukee Bucks (22-22, Last week: 15)

The Bucks slide down to a .500 winning percentage while going 1-3 through the week, which is right about where they've been all season. Still, it never gets boring watching Giannis Antetokounmpo's weekly highlights, this time a coast-to-coast jam that took only four dribbles:

17. Miami Heat (20-24, Last week: 17)

Hassan Whiteside takes over the Heat blurb again after setting a franchise record. Whiteside blocked 12 ... 12! ... shots against the Bulls during Miami's win on Sunday to finish with a triple-double. Here they are in all of their glory:

18. Charlotte Hornets (19-26, Last week: 20)

The Hornets are rising from the ashes and working their way back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture after winning eight of their last 10 games. The roster might get another shakeup, too, as the Hornets and Nets are reheating trade discussions with a new target.

19. Utah Jazz (16-28, Last week: 23)

Dante Exum is now the starting point guard for Utah and the team has gone 2-0 since. Now the team just needs to figure out what to do with Trey Burke, who was a lottery pick just one year ago.

20. Brooklyn Nets (18-26, Last week: 21)

The Nets' descent into madness is reaching a tipping point as they're now out of the playoffs and back into trade discussions.

21. Denver Nuggets (18-26, Last week: 18)

The best way to describe the kind of funk the Nuggets are currently in is to look at how they lost to the Wizards on Sunday. The game was tied with 1.4 seconds left and Kenneth Faried was at the line for two free throws. He missed them both. They lost in overtime.

22. Sacramento Kings (16-27, Last week: 19)

The Kings are on a six-game skid -- their worst of the season -- with DeMarcus Cousins playing. Maybe it's time to fire Ty Corbin, too.

23. Boston Celtics (15-27, Last week: 24)

Evan Turner had quite a week. First, he hit a game-winner over the Trail Blazers:

Then, he was dissed by Arron Afflalo after he offered up a friendly high-five following an offensive foul call against the Nuggets' guard:

24. Indiana Pacers (16-30, Last week: 27)

The Pacers snapped their seven-game losing streak with a win over the Magic, but that's the kind of year it's been in Indiana. They've also had a six-game losing streak, and an eight-game losing streak. George Hill is working his way back into the rotation, but it's just clockwork for the Pacers at this point.

25. Orlando Magic (15-32. Last week: 26)

The biggest point in the Magic's week was their role in the Knicks' three-game winning streak. It's gotten ugly as the Magic have won just two of their last 13 games. The plus side? More losses means a better chance at drafting a better player who can help them out of this mess.

26. Detroit Pistons (17-28, Last week: 22)

The Pistons' incredible post-Smoove run has probably come to an end following the news that Brandon Jennings suffered a ruptured Achilles. It was fun while it lasted.

27. Minnesota Timberwolves (7-36, Last week: 29)

Andrew Wiggins' double-digit scoring streak is at 17 games now, and stands as about the only positive thing going on in Minnesota currently. Still no Ricky Rubio or Kevin Martin, and the losses keep on coming.

28. Los Angeles Lakers (12-33, Last week: 25)

The Lakers have hung around the bottom-five all season, and with news trickling down that Kobe Bryant is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his rotator cuff, they might become a bottom-three lock. This team was already struggling without Kobe, and is now on a season-worst eight-game losing streak. There's no reason to believe it'll get better any time soon.

29. New York Knicks (8-37, Last week: 30)

The Knicks ended their 16-game losing streak with a win over the Brow-less Pelicans, then beat the 76ers and a struggling Magic team to hit a three-game winning streak. Does it matter? Nope.

30. Philadelphia 76ers (8-36, Last week: 28)

Home sweet home. The 76ers loss to the Knicks was a No. 30-clinching moment, bringing Philadelphia back to the bottom.