1. Oklahoma City Thunder (35-10, Last week: 4)
No Russell Westbrook, no problem. At least not lately. That's because Kevin Durant is finishing up one of the best months in recent memory. In the month of January, KD is averaging 36.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists while shooting 53.5 percent overall and 39 percent from three:
More on the Thunder: Welcome to Loud City
2. Indiana Pacers (34-9, Last week: 1)
The Pacers' top-ranked defense has shown a few cracks on their five-game road trip. Indiana is giving up 114.7 points per game over the last three games, resulting in two losses and one miraculous victory over the shorthanded Kings that only went to overtime because of some Paul George heroics:
More on the Pacers: Indy Cornrows
3. Miami Heat (32-12, Last week: 5)
The Heat have won five of six after their three-game losing streak, and the play of Chris Bosh is a big reason why. The big man has stepped up into a larger scoring role with Dwyane Wade ailing, averaging 24 points on 61.1 percent shooting in the last seven games.
More on the Heat: Hot Hot Hoops
4. Portland Trail Blazers (33-12, Last week: 2)
The Blazers finished up a grueling 2-3, week, with all three of those losses coming on the road. LaMarcus Aldridge's week ended with a dud in a loss to the Warriors, but in a comeback win over the Nuggets, Aldridge poured in a career-high 44 points:
More on the Blazers: Blazer's Edge
5. San Antonio Spurs (33-11, Last week: 3)
The Spurs suffered another tough injury blow, losing Kawhi Leonard to a broken hand for several weeks. San Antonio will surely chug along fine without Leonard, but things weren't pretty against Miami on Sunday.
More on the Spurs: Pounding The Rock
6. Los Angeles Clippers (31-15, Last week: 6)
The Clippers have been humming right along with Chris Paul sidelined, posting an 8-3 record since the star point guard went down with a shoulder injury. Los Angeles can thank Blake Griffin, who's averaging 25.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists in January.
More on the Clippers: Clips Nation
7. Golden State Warriors (27-18, Last week: 7)
Stephen Curry is having himself one heck of a season, and he finds himself in the middle of a brilliant stretch. Curry was especially superb in a win over the Blazers on Sunday, notching 38 points, eight assists and seven rebounds:
More on the Warriors: Golden State Of Mind
8. Houston Rockets (29-17, Last week: 8)
The Rockets began their week with a bang and ended it with a thud. After smashing the Blazers and Kings, the normally high-powered Rockets were shut down by the Grizzlies in consecutive games. Houston failed to reach 90 points in both losses to Memphis, despite the fact that Chandler Parsons hit 10 threes in the second half of one of the games:
More on the Rockets: The Dream Shake
9. Memphis Grizzlies (22-20, Last week: 10)
Grit 'N Grind is alive and well. There was a slight hiccup against the Pelicans early in the week, but the two wins over the Rockets were vintage. Memphis is now just 1½ games out of the final playoff spot in the West.
More on the Grizzlies: Grizzly Bear Blues
10. Phoenix Suns (25-18, Last week: 11)
The Suns trailed the Cavaliers by 18 points at halftime on Sunday. That turned into a one-point lead by the end of the third quarter. Phoenix went on to win the game 99-90, outscoring Cleveland 56-29 in an impressive second-half display.
More on the Suns: Bright Side Of The Sun
11. Dallas Mavericks (26-20, Last week: 9)
Dirk Nowitzki had been struggling of late, but the big German bounced back in a victory over the Pistons, scoring 28 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Even at age 35, Nowitzki is still performing at a high level, with shooting percentages above his career marks.
More on the Mavs: Mavs Moneyball
12. Toronto Raptors (22-21, Last week: 12)
The good: Terrence Ross matched Vince Carter's franchise record with a 51-point effort against the Clippers on Saturday. The bad: The Raptors lost to the Clippers and DeMar DeRozan sprained his ankle.
More on the Raptors: Raptors HQ
13. Denver Nuggets (22-21, Last week: 13)
On a three-game losing streak and still reeling from the news that Danilo Gallinari would miss the rest of the season, the Nuggets delivered one of their best performances of the year in a 13-point victory over the Pacers. The following night, Denver's offensive exploded to the tune of 125 points in a win over Sacramento.
More on the Nuggets: Denver Stiffs
14. Atlanta Hawks (23-20, Last week: 17)
The Hawks are doing an admirable job staying afloat in the wake of the Al Horford injury. Atlanta has won three of four, with one of those being an impressive 121-114 victory over Miami. And yes, Kyle Korver's three streak is still going.
More on the Hawks: Peachtree Hoops
15. Minnesota Timberwolves (21-22, Last week: 14)
The Wolves just can't get over the .500 hump. Since moving to 8-8 early in the year, Minnesota has gone 0-8 in games that would put them over the .500 mark with a victory.
More on the Wolves: Canis Hoopus
16. Brooklyn Nets (20-22, Last week: 18)
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce returned to Boston to much fanfare and thunderous applause:
Garnett and Pierce didn't do much in the game itself, but the Nets still won their fifth straight as their superb 2014 continued.
More on the Nets: NetsDaily
17. Washington Wizards (21-22, Last week: 15)
The Wizards continue to be maddeningly mediocre. Lose to the Celtics. Beat the Suns. Lose to the Jazz. It has pretty much been like this all year.
More on the Wizards: Bullets Forever
18. Chicago Bulls (22-21, Last week: 16)
So just what in the heck has gotten into D.J. Augustin? The Bulls picked Augustin up off the scrap heap earlier in the year, and it has turned out to be a shrewd move. In his last five games, the former lottery pick is averaging 21.6 points while shooting 55.2 percent overall and 57.6 percent from three.
More on the Bulls: Blog a Bull
19. New Orleans Pelicans (18-25, Last week: 27)
Anthony Davis not only had 22 points, 19 rebounds and seven blocks against the Magic, but he also basically ended Big Baby:
More on the Pelicans: The Bird Writes
20. New York Knicks (17-27, Last week: 22)
Just going to leave this here:
More on the Knicks: Posting and Toasting
21. Charlotte Bobcats (19-27, Last week: 21)
Despite sitting at 19-27, the Bobcats are still barely holding on to that eighth seed in the East because the Pistons are awful and the Knicks just went on a five-game losing streak. But the way things are looking, Charlotte may be on the verge of falling out of the race soon.
More on the Bobcats: Rufus On Fire
22. Sacramento Kings (15-28, Last week: 23)
Right when it looked like the Kings could possibly make a bit of a run, Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins went down with injuries. Since they got hurt, Sacramento has lost three in a row.
More on the Kings: Sactown Royalty
23. Cleveland Cavaliers (16-28, Last week: 20)
The Luol Deng trade hasn't paid off yet for the Cavs, who continue to bumble along in the bad East. Cleveland is at best mediocre right now, although I'd tend to lean toward bad, especially after their embarrassing second-half effort in the loss to Phoenix.
More on the Cavs: Fear The Sword
24. Utah Jazz (15-29, Last week: 25)
Enes Kanter was a mess in two blowout losses at the hand of the Timberwolves, but the big man bounced back in a nice victory over the Wizards. Kanter made 11-of-13 shots en route to 24 points as Utah held off Washington.
More on the Jazz: SLC Dunk
25. Detroit Pistons (17-27, Last week: 19)
The Pistons are in a bad place right now. Four-game losing streak featuring some horrific defense. Greg Monroe isn't happy and is struggling to cope with trade rumors. Josh Smith is Josh Smith. And yet, Detroit is only one game out of the playoffs.
More on the Pistons: Detroit Bad Boys
26. Los Angeles Lakers (16-29, Last week: 24)
The Lakers stink, but Pau Gasol has regained his touch. Gasol has scored at least 20 points in eight straight games, and he's averaging 20.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists in January.
More on the Lakers: Silver Screen and Roll
27. Boston Celtics (15-31, Last week: 26)
Like Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo has shown considerable rust in his return from an ACL injury. In his five games back, Rondo's averaging 6.6 points and 5.8 assists while shooting just 29.2 percent from the field.
More on the Celtics: CelticsBlog
28. Philadelphia 76ers (14-30, Last week: 28)
Evan Turner has slowed considerably after an excellent first month of the year, but he still occasionally provides a reminder of why he was drafted No. 2 overall. In a win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, Turner had 34 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 13-of-22 from the field.
More on the Sixers: Liberty Ballers
29. Orlando Magic (12-33, Last week: 29)
The season has been pretty bleak for the Magic, but Arron Afflalo has been a bright spot and could be an All-Star. Tobias Harris is also coming around, and his 28-point, 20-rebound effort against the Lakers last week was his best of the year.
More on the Magic: Orlando Pinstriped Post
30. Milwaukee Bucks (8-35, Last week: 30)
The Bucks finally got that January win by beating the Pistons last week. Of course, that was followed by two blowout losses. Business as usual.
More on the Bucks: Brew Hoop
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