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The Times' NBA rankings

The Times' NBA rankings
Portland guard Damian Lillard, left, high fives forward LaMarcus Aldridge after scoring a three-pointer Tuesday at Oklahoma City (Alonzo Adams / Associated Press)

Last week’s ranking in parentheses; statistics are through Friday’s games:

1. PORTLAND:

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Trail Blazers

have won seven of eight  behind stars

Damian Lillard

and

LaMarcus Aldridge

. (3)

2. HOUSTON: Will the bad

Josh Smith

who shoots too many threes show up, or the good one who defends, plays inside? (6)

3. GOLDEN STATE: The

Warriors

lost two of three after their 16-game winning streak was snapped. (2)

4. TORONTO:

Raptors

won six of seven before beating Clippers on Saturday; averaging 108.2 points, second-best in

NBA

. (4)

5. WASHINGTON:

John Wall

is a premier point guard, averaging a double-double with 18 points, 10.5 assists. (5)

6. CHICAGO: Bulls stretch their lead in the Central Division by winning five straight and eight of nine. (8)

7. DALLAS:

Dirk Nowitzki

moved up to 10th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (27,322 points). (9)

8. ATLANTA: After  a season-high 125 points in win over Clippers,

Hawks

score season-low 77 in loss to

Bucks

. (7)

9. CLIPPERS: After losing three of four, whipped the Warriors on Christmas to start nine-game homestand.  (10)

10. CLEVELAND: Losing center

Anderson Varejao

to a season-ending left Achilles’ injury will hurt. (12)

11. MEMPHIS:

Grizzlies

lost four straight,  the last three without

Zach Randolph

, sidelined by a sore right knee. (1)

12. PHOENIX: The

Suns

quietly won five straight games to get back into the playoff picture. (15)

13. OKLAHOMA CITY:

Russell Westbrook

, scoring 28.6 a game, ignores rap he shoots too much with

Kevin Durant

out. (13)

14. SAN ANTONIO: Injuries are taking a toll on the

Spurs

, who lost six of seven. (11)

15. MILWAUKEE: Still hanging tough with .500 record (15-15) despite injuries, illnesses. (16)

16. NEW ORLEANS:  In games in which they block at least six shots,

Pelicans

are 10-0;

Anthony Davis

averages 2.93 a game. (14)

17. MIAMI:

Chris Bosh

has missed seven consecutive games because of a left calf injury. (17)

18. BROOKLYN: The

Nets

could be coming around after their first three-game win streak of the season. (21)

19. DENVER:

Kenneth Faried

responded to talk with Coach

Brian Shaw

with a career-high 25 rebounds, plus 26 points. (19)

20. SACRAMENTO: Started season with a 9-5 record, then went 3-12;

DeMarcus Cousins

’ absences haven’t helped. (20)

21. BOSTON: Treadmill to nowhere: Won three in a row, lost three in a row, won three in a row,  lost three in a row again. (18)

22. ORLANDO: The Magic is next to last in NBA in scoring (93.7) and assists (19.8). (22)

23. UTAH: Won three of four games, including an impressive victory at Memphis. (23)

24. INDIANA:

Pacers

still haven’t won more than two consecutive games this season. (24)

25. CHARLOTTE: Hornets averaging the fewest turnovers per game in the NBA (11.0). (26)

26. LAKERS: Is Father Time finally catching up to

Kobe Bryant

? Body soreness forced him to miss three games. (25)

27. MINNESOTA:

Timberwolves

have given up a staggering 115 points per game on the road. (27)

28. PHILADELPHIA: The 76ers showed something by rallying from a 23-point deficit to beat Miami. (30)

29. DETROIT: Were things so bad with Josh Smith that they had to waive him with two years, $26 million left on deal? (29)

30. NEW YORK: Phil Jackson says it’ll get better in 2015 for a team that has lost six straight, 16 of 17. Sure, Phil. (28)

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