The Times' NBA rankings

The Times' NBA rankings
Houston's James Harden drives in front of Phoenix's P.J. Tucker. (Scott Halleran / Getty Images)

Last week's ranking in parentheses, statistics are through Friday's games:

1. GOLDEN STATE: Making history. Has won 50-plus games in consecutive seasons for first time in franchise history. (1)


2. CLEVELAND: Clinched first playoff spot since 2010 when LeBron James was leading team. Has won eight of 10 games. (3)

3. ATLANTA: Lost last two games on West Coast swing, at Golden State and Oklahoma City. (2)

4. HOUSTON: Are 25-4 when James Harden scores 30 points or more. Dwight Howard might be back soon to help. (7)

5. SAN ANTONIO: Spurs really lost to the lowly Knicks? Still, Spurs have won eight of last 10 games. (5)

6. CLIPPERS: Still thinking they can finish in the top four in the super-tough Western Conference. (8)

7. MEMPHIS: Stopped three-game losing streak with the return of point guard Mike Conley (ankle). (6)

8. CHICAGO: Center Joakim Noah has 270 assists this season, his third consecutive season with at least 250 assists. (9)

9. PORTLAND: Blazers less than stellar on the road: They have lost three straight and are 16-17 away from home. (4)

10. WASHINGTON: Got back on track by winning five of last six games. Trying to get home court for playoffs. (12)

11. TORONTO: All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry missed Bulls game with bruised back. Raptors fall to fourth in East. (11)

12. OKLAHOMA CITY: Russell Westbrook making late MVP charge. Produced seventh triple-double since All-Star break. (13)

13. DALLAS: Went 3-2 on season-high five-game homestand. Play four of next five games on the road. (15)

14. MIAMI: Won fourth straight game at home. Will be tested with next four games on the road, where Heat is 15-18. (19)

15. NEW ORLEANS: Anthony Davis injury comes at bad time. Lost both games he missed, fading out of playoffs. (10)

16. MILWAUKEE: Lost 10th consecutive road game to fall to 15-22 on the road. Still holding on to playoff spot, though. (16)

17. BOSTON: Despite being eight games under .500, the Celtics are the eighth seed in the East. (20)

18. PHOENIX: Averaged just 88 points on 41.6% shooting in last six games. Went 3-3. (18)

19. UTAH: Since Feb. 6, has held opponents to an NBA-best 39.8% shooting and 83.9 points per game. (21)

 20. INDIANA: Sliding out of playoff picture with fourth consecutive loss. Any need for Paul George (leg) to return? (14)

21. CHARLOTTE: Lost twice in 10 days to lowly Kings, jeopardizing playoff opportunity in the East. (17)

22. BROOKLYN: Brook Lopez has six double-doubles in 15 games since All-Star break, had five in 42 before break. (23)

23. DETROIT: Was 1 1/2 games out of final playoff spot on Feb. 22. Lost 11 of 12 to fall out of playoff picture. (24)

24. DENVER: Have lost 11 consecutive games to Eastern Conference teams. Plays next game at Orlando. (22)

 26. SACRAMENTO: Actually improved to 3-13 without center DeMarcus Cousins, who missed two games with calf injury. (25)

25. ORLANDO: Rookie point guard Elfrid Payton's back-to-back triple-doubles helps Magic end six-game losing streak. (26)

27. PHILADELPHIA: Nerlens Noel’s offense catching up to his defense. Scored 16-plus points in four of five games. (28)

28. LAKERS: Just hit the Big Five-O! Became fifth team in franchise history to lose at least 50 games in a season. (27)

29. MINNESOTA: Worst team in the West won at worst team in the NBA, New York, in overtime. (29)

30. NEW YORK: Had impressive win over defending NBA champion Spurs, in OT, no less. Had unimpressive loss to 76ers. (30)