NBA Hoops

NBA Power Rankings: Clutch Kyrie Irving leads Mavericks into top five, Thunder take top spot from Nuggets

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This week OKC proved it’s much more than the Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Show, going to OT with the red-hot Rockets and blowing the Suns off the court without the services of its MVP candidate. Of course, SGA returned on Sunday to hit the game-winner against the Knicks with a “did you miss me?” grin. The Thunder are back in the No. 1 seed out West. 4 52-24

The Celtics can still beat teams that aren’t based in Atlanta, apparently, after wins against the Pelicans and Hornets to close out the week. These are all tune-up games for Boston, which has already clinched the Eastern Conference’s top seed, and Joe Mazzulla admitted to experimenting a bit with his defense in the losses to the Hawks. Sure, why not? — 60-16

The Wolves were on their way to the No. 1 spot in this week’s Power Rankings after Friday’s huge win in Denver, but a home loss to the Bulls on Sunday spoiled the parade. The defense continues to be elite, while the offense understandably struggles at times without Karl-Anthony Towns. Dropping out of the top three seems highly unlikely for Minnesota at this point, and the No. 1 seed is still very much in play. — 53-23

This week once again proved how valuable that Jamal Murray is to the championship formula, as he’s now missed five straight games with a knee issue. You just don’t see Denver lose consecutive home games very often, even if it is to the Suns and Timberwolves. They got back on track on…

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