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2014 NBA power rankings: Thunder, Pacers remain top 2 despite losses to Magic

The Thunder and Pacers are still the top two teams in the latest power rankings despite both suffering tough losses to the Magic. Meanwhile, the Clippers are looking good with the return of Chris Paul.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

1. Oklahoma City Thunder (41-12, Last week: 1)

The Thunder had a slight hiccup against the Magic juggernaut (wait, what?), but Kevin Durant and Co. bounced back with a strong outing against the Knicks. Durant came just an assist shy of a triple-double, badly outplaying Carmelo Anthony in the process:

More on the Thunder: Welcome to Loud City

2. Indiana Pacers (39-11, Last week: 2)

The Pacers also suffered a loss to the Magic (seriously, what?), but prior to that, they had won four straight games, including a thrilling overtime victory over the Trail Blazers. With Paul George struggling, George Hill poured in a career-high 37 points and forced overtime with a huge three:

More on the Pacers: Indy Cornrows

3. Miami Heat (35-14, Last week: 3)

Continuing with the theme of bizarre losses, the Heat played one of their worst games of the season in a 94-89 loss to the Jazz. But while that performance was mostly bad, the win several nights before against the Clippers was brilliant and full of highlight-reel plays like this:

More on the Heat: Hot Hot Hoops

4. Los Angeles Clippers (36-18, Last week: 5)

The Clippers got Chris Paul back and did bad, bad things to the poor 76ers. I mean, don't do 'em like this Blake Griffin:


And again:


More on the Clippers: Clips Nation

5. Houston Rockets (34-17, Last week: 7)

The Rockets are on a roll right now, winners of five straight. Dwight Howard might not be averaging 28 and 15 like Shaq wants, but Howard is averaging 26.2 points and 10.8 rebounds during the winning streak.

More on the Rockets: The Dream Shake

6. Portland Trail Blazers (36-15, Last week: 6)

Since moving a season-high 22 games over .500 a few weeks ago, the Blazers have gone just 5-6. A big reason is a really tough schedule, but the struggles may not bode well for the postseason. Or perhaps it's just a lull.

More on the Blazers: Blazer's Edge

7. San Antonio Spurs (37-14, Last week: 10)

Despite a depleted roster, the Spurs had a rather productive week, going 3-1 on the start of their nine-game Rodeo Road Trip. The hero in the last victory was Patty Mills, who scored a season-high 32 points in a win over the Bobcats.

More on the Spurs: Pounding The Rock

8. Dallas Mavericks (31-21, Last week: 12)

The Mavs just might be the hottest team in the NBA right now, winners of five straight games and four in a row by double digits. The most impressive win during the streak came in Memphis, where the Mavs dropped 110 points on the Grizzlies.

More on the Mavs: Mavs Moneyball

9. Phoenix Suns (30-20, Last week: 9)

Bizarre note from this season: the Suns handled the Pacers twice, but they looked miserable against the Bulls in two losses. Just strange.

More on the Suns: Bright Side Of The Sun

10. Golden State Warriors (30-21, Last week: 8)

The Warriors have been puttering about the last few weeks, unable to find any real consistency. There have been some really impressive victories, but there have also been some bad losses. Case in point: a 91-75 debacle at home against the Bobcats.

More on the Warriors: Golden State Of Mind

11. Memphis Grizzlies (27-23, Last week: 4)

The Grizzlies cracked the top five in the last power rankings and promptly lost three of four games last week. Memphis now sits 2.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the West and patiently awaits the returns of Mike Conley and Tony Allen from injury.

More on the Grizzlies: Grizzly Bear Blues

12. Toronto Raptors (26-24, Last week: 11)

Behold, one of the worst calls you'll ever see. Also a terrible follow-up call. Poor Kyle Lowry:

More on the Raptors: Raptors HQ

13. Washington Wizards (25-25, Last week: 15)

After beating the Thunder and Blazers consecutively, the Wizards moved over .500 for the first time in four years. The response? Failing to hold a big lead against the Spurs and a tough loss against the reeling Cavaliers. Washington is back at .500 after a win over Sacramento, but the team easily could be four over at this point.

More on the Wizards: Bullets Forever

14. Chicago Bulls (25-25, Last week: 18)

The Bulls are the lowest-scoring team in the NBA and third-worst when it comes to offensive efficiency. And yet, they sit just a game behind the third-seeded Raptors. The East!

More on the Bulls: Blog a Bull

15. Atlanta Hawks (25-24, Last week: 13)

The Hawks' injuries may finally be starting to catch up to them. Atlanta has lost three in a row, with a three-game roadie against three East playoff teams staring the Hawks in the face. At least Kyle Korver still has his three-point streak going.

More on the Hawks: Peachtree Hoops

16. Brooklyn Nets (23-26, Last week: 19)

After a three-game stumble, the Nets responded with a strong 3-1 week. To cap off the week, Mason Plumlee somehow matched and arguably outperformed Anthony Davis in a win over the Pelicans:

More on the Nets: NetsDaily

17. Denver Nuggets (24-25, Last week: 16)

The Nuggets have been battered by major injuries this season. Both Danilo Gallinari and Nate Robinson will miss the year with ACL injuries, while JaVale McGee's broken leg could keep him out the rest of the season. Ty Lawson also just suffered an injury, breaking a rib in a loss to the Pistons.

More on the Nuggets: Denver Stiffs

18. New Orleans Pelicans (22-28, Last week: 17)

The Brow may not have been selected by the coaches to represent the West in the All-Star Game, but the NBA got it right by naming him the replacement for the injured Kobe Bryant. Davis has had a phenomenal second season and is better than a good portion of the East squad.

More on the Pelicans: The Bird Writes

19. Minnesota Timberwolves (24-27, Last week: 14)

Want to know a big reason why the Wolves are three games under .500 despite a net rating that places them 12th in the NBA? Dreadful fourth-quarter play. Minnesota goes from one of the league's best teams in the first three quarters to one of the worst in the fourth, sporting a -10.4 net rating in the final frame, according to's stats page.

More on the Wolves: Canis Hoopus

20. Detroit Pistons (21-29, Last week: 22)

Despite actually looking good in two straight wins, Pistons owner Tom Gores had seen enough of head coach Maurice Cheeksgiving Cheeks the boot just 50 games into his first season in Detroit. While Cheeks didn't exactly do a good job, when does general manager Joe Dumars take the fall for years of bad decisions?

More on the Pistons: Detroit Bad Boys

21. Charlotte Bobcats (22-29, Last week: 21)

The Bobcats are tenuously holding on to that final playoff spot in the East, holding just a half-game lead over the Pistons. Charlotte blew a prime opportunity to beat San Antonio at home, giving up 63 points in the second half to a depleted Spurs squad.

More on the Bobcats: Rufus On Fire

22. New York Knicks (20-31, Last week: 20)

The Knicks' defense has been bad all season and was in prime form on Sunday in Oklahoma City. Wide-open threes, botched rotations, poor switching and no rim protection was the name of the game, with things reaching embarrassing levels on several occasions.

More on the Knicks: Posting and Toasting

23. Orlando Magic (16-37, Last week: 28)

All hail the Magic! Orlando, who has looked like one of the NBA's worst teams for quite some time now, just beat the top two teams in these power rankings. Consecutively. I'm as stunned as you are:

More on the Magic: Orlando Pinstriped Post

24. Boston Celtics (18-34, Last week: 24)

Jared Sullinger struggled in a loss to the Mavs on Sunday, but he had himself quite the stretch during a three-game winning streak. Sully averaged 23.7 points and 12.7 boards during the streak.

More on the Celtics: CelticsBlog

25. Utah Jazz (17-33, Last week: 23)

A rather strange week for the Jazz. Two straight blowout losses ... followed by an inexplicable win over the Heat. In the win, Utah held LeBron James to just 13 points, tying a season-low for the reigning two-time MVP.

More on the Jazz: SLC Dunk

26. Cleveland Cavaliers (18-33, Last week: 29)

The Cavs hit absolute rock bottom, losing to a Lakers team that was forced to play a fouled-out Robert Sacre because there were no other available players. That debacle led to the firing of general manager Chris Grant, and Cleveland has responded with two straight wins. Dion Waiters did this to cap off the last win:


More on the Cavs: Fear The Sword

27. Sacramento Kings (17-34, Last week: 25)

The Kings showed signs of breaking out of their slump last week, destroying the Bulls and then beating the Raptors. But that was followed up by two poor offensive performances in consecutive losses against the Celtics and Wizards. Disappointing.

More on the Kings: Sactown Royalty

28. Los Angeles Lakers (18-33, Last week: 26)

If there's one image to sum up the Lakers' season, it's this one (via Larry Brown Sports):


More on the Lakers: Silver Screen and Roll

29. Milwaukee Bucks (9-41, Last week: 30)

The Bucks still have the NBA's worst record and it's not really close, but they're spared the last spot thanks to the exceptional ineptitude of the 76ers. Enjoy the 29th spot, Milwaukee!

More on the Bucks: Brew Hoop

30. Philadelphia 76ers (15-37, Last week: 27)

TANK MODE: FULLY ENGAGED! The Sixers have lost six games in a row, with an impressively awful performance against the Clippers on Sunday capping off a terrible week. Philly shot 27 percent overall and 3-of-28 from three in an epic 45-point loss.

More on the Sixers: Liberty Ballers

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