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The Times' NBA rankings

Broderick Turner ranks the 30 NBA teams

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

1. PORTLAND: 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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