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San Antonio moves to the top of The Times’ NBA rankings

RANKINGS, COMMENTS THROUGH SATURDAY?

SPUR INDEX?

?1. SAN ANTONIO (23-3) If Lakers think they’re the same creaky Spurs, think again. (2) ? 2. BOSTON (21-4) Rondo hurt again; starting to look like Kobe last season. (1) ? 3. MIAMI (21-8) Celtics escape Knicks. Heat, now on 12-0 run, toy with them. (4) ? 4. LAKERS (20-7) Bynum’s mere return means Gasol’s minutes drop, scoring goes up. (10) ? 5. DALLAS (21-5) Lakers had enough trouble in West draw when they were best by far. (3) ? 6. OKLAHOMA CITY (19-8) Durant at 41% on Dec. 1, at 50% since and Thunder has won 14 of 18. (5) ? 7. UTAH (19-9) Okur back but Jazz needs a big who blocks shots, not makes threes. (7) ? 8. DENVER (16-10) Trying to win Anthony back, last thing they need is Knicks rise. (12) ? 9. NEW ORLEANS (16-10) Lost nine of 13 before coming from 23 down to win in Sacramento. (11)

10. ORLANDO (16-10) It won’t be the same without Vince and Rashard, hopefully. (6)

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11. ATLANTA (17-11) Joe Johnson back early. Now to get shooting percentage over 41%. (13)

12. CHICAGO (16-9) Buckle up: First game with Noah out is home loss to Clippers. (8)

13. NEW YORK (16-12) Forget Celtics, Heat: Loss to old rivals in Cleveland makes it 0-3. (9)

TWILIGHT TIME

14. PHOENIX (12-13) Owner Sarver takes last shot at building a champion -- in Orlando. (15)

15. INDIANA (12-13) Collison averaged 19 as starter as a rookie, 13.5 as a sophomore. (16)

16. PORTLAND (14-14) Hits keep happening: Roy’s knee just forced him out again. (14)

17. HOUSTON (11-15) Devastating as it is, began post-Yao transition in ’09 Lakers series. (19)

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18. PHILADELPHIA (11-16) Look who just joined East race for No. 8 after 3-13 start. (21)

19. MEMPHIS (12-16) Benched for rookie Henry, Mayo gets 27 in return to lineup. (18)

20. MILWAUKEE (10-15) Back from injury, Gooden gets 20 off bench as they end Dallas’ streak. (17)

BOOM BOOM, OUT GO THE LIGHTS

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21. CLIPPERS (7-21) Inspired by tough love from owner, just won first two on road. (28)

22. CHARLOTTE (9-17) Who imagined this could happen? Oh, yeah, everyone but MJ. (20)

23. GOLDEN STATE (9-17) With magic time over, will they break up Smurf backcourt? (23)

24. TORONTO (10-17) Trouble is missing Bosh as a rebounder: Bargnani at 5.6. (22)

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25. NEW JERSEY (7-20) Lakers wannabes get Vujacic, who at least brings celebrity fiance. (27)

26. DETROIT (8-19) Actually overachieving: Only Cavaliers have less talent. (29)

27. WASHINGTON (6-19) Uh-oh: Flip Saunders says Wall’s knee will never “be pain free.” (26)

28. CLEVELAND (8-19) Can’t lose them all: Did lose 10 in row before beating Knicks. (25)

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29. MINNESOTA (6-22) Love, Beasley, Wes Johnson, Flynn -- how do they lose so many? (24)

30. SACRAMENTO (5-19) Almost got elusive sixth win, but Hornets came from 23 down. (30)


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