The Sixers have overtaken the Brooklyn Nets for the top spot in The Inquirer’s NBA power rankings. Both teams lost once since the past ranking. The Sixers suffered a 109-105 overtime loss to a surging Milwaukee Bucks team, while the Nets were upset by the Magic.
Records are through Monday. Last week’s rankings are in parentheses.
1. Sixers (30-13) (2)
The Sixers are 6-1 since the All-Star break. Their one loss was the overtime defeat to Milwaukee after, the Sixers squandered a 19-point lead in the third quarter. They bounced back to beat Sacramento, 129-105, and won at New York, 101-100, in overtime, the second close win over the Knicks in a week. The Sixers are 4-1 since Joel Embiid suffered a left knee bone bruise.
2. Brooklyn (29-14) (1)
The Nets saw their six-game win streak snapped unexpectedly by Orlando in Friday’s 121-113 loss, despite 43 points by Kyrie Irving. The Nets announced that Irving will not accompany the team on this week’s three-game road trip (Portland, Utah, Detroit) due to a family matter.
3. Milwaukee (28-14) (5)
The Bucks have won seven in a row following Monday’s 140-113 home win over Indiana. More impressive, Milwaukee won the game without Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was out with a left knee sprain. Pat Connaughton, who started in place of Antetokounmpo, had 20 points and nine rebounds.
4. Utah (31-11) (4)
Following a 1-3 week, the Jazz rebounded with a 3-1 week, all on the road, with a win over Boston, a loss at Washington and victories over Toronto and Chicago. Donovan Mitchell has averaged 34.3 points in his last three games.
5. L.A. Clippers (28-16) (8)
Using a 37-20 fourth-quarter advantage, the Clippers earned a 119-110 home win over Atlanta. Kawhi Leonard and Terance Mann each scored 11 points in the fourth quarter. The Clippers, who routed Charlotte on Saturday, have won three of four.
6. Phoenix (28-13) (3)
After splitting two home games with Minnesota, the Suns defeated the visiting Los Angeles Lakers, 111-94, on Sunday. Chris Paul had an unusual triple-double - 11 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists.
7. Denver (25-17) (6)
After home wins over Indiana, Charlotte and Chicago, the Nuggets lost to visiting New Orleans, 113-108, on Sunday despite a triple-double by Nikola Jokic (29 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists). It was his 11th triple-double this season.
8. L.A. Lakers (28-15) (7)
LeBron James suffered a high ankle sprain during Saturday’s 99-94 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Before his injury, James had only missed one game this season. He is averaging 25.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists. The Lakers lost on Sunday at Phoenix, 111-94.
9. Portland (25-17) (10)
In Friday’s 125-119 home win over Dallas, Carmelo Anthony became the 11th player in NBA history to score 27,000 points. Anthony scored 18 points, giving him 27,013. This past week included two home wins over New Orleans and a split at home with Dallas.
10. Dallas (22-19) (12)
Since last Monday, the Mavericks split two home games with the Clippers and two games at Portland. In Sunday’s 132-92 rout of Portland, Luka Doncic had 37 points and shot 8 of 9 from beyond the arc.
11. San Antonio (22-18) (13)
After a 134-99 loss in Philadelphia, the Spurs won three straight road games at Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland, before losing 120-113 at Milwaukee on Saturday. San Antonio followed that with Monday’s 100-97 home loss to Charlotte.
12. Miami (22-21) (9)
Wednesday’s 89-85 loss at Memphis marked Erik Spoelstra’s 1,000th regular-season game as coach, all with the Heat. He became the third coach to coach at least 1,000 career games with only one team, joining Gregg Popovich (Spurs) and Al Attles (Warriors). The Heat have a three-game losing streak with defeats at Memphis and two at home against Indiana.
13. Atlanta (22-21) (17)
The Hawks’ eight-game win streak was snapped with Monday’s 119-110 defeat at the L.A. Clippers. Atlanta squandered a 22-point with under five minutes left in the third quarter. It was the first loss for interim coach Nate McMillan.
14. Boston (21-22) (11)
After snapping a three-game losing streak with Sunday’s 112-96 home win over Orlando, the Celtics lost 132-126 in overtime on Monday at Memphis. After showing life by winning five of six games, the Celtics have now lost four of their past five games.
15. Charlotte (21-21) (14)
The Hornets suffered a critical injury when Rookie of the Year favorite LaMelo Ball fractured his right wrist in Saturday’s 125-98 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers. Ball, who is out indefinitely, is averaging 15.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists. The Hornets ended a three-game losing streak with Monday’s 100-97 win at San Antonio.
16. Golden State (22-21) (15)
After winning at Houston, the Warriors ended their week by splitting two games at Memphis. Stephen Curry missed both games with the Grizzlies due to a tailbone injury. Second-year guard Jordan Poole is averaging 24.6 points in his last three games.
17. Memphis (20-20) (18)
The Grizzlies have won three of four following Monday’s 132-126 overtime home win over Boston. Ja Morant had 29 points and nine assists. Memphis also beat visiting Miami and split two at home against Golden State.
18. New York (21-22) (16)
The Knicks were a deceptive 1-3, losing to Brooklyn by five and falling twice in a week to the Sixers by a total of four points. In Thursday’s 94-93 home win over Orlando, Julius Randle had a triple-double - 18 points, 17 assists and 10 rebounds
19. Indiana (19-23) (20)
During Wednesday’s 124-115 home loss to the Nets, Myles Turner blocked at least one shot for the 55th consecutive game, breaking the franchise record of 54 set by Jermaine O’Neal. Former Sixer T.J. McConnell had 16 points and 15 assists off the bench in Friday’s 137-110 win at Miami. The Pacers won twice at Miami before ending the week with a 140-113 loss at Milwaukee.
20. New Orleans (18-24) (23)
The Pelicans keep playing well in defeat, while also beating some top teams. In their last four games, New Orleans beat the Clippers, lost two games at Portland by a total of eight points and won 113-108 Sunday at Denver behind 30 points each by Branon Ingram and Zion Williamson. JJ Redick missed his seventh straight game with a right heel injury. Here is quite a dunk by the Pelicans’ Jaxson Hayes:
21. Chicago (19-23) (21)
Last Wednesday, former Sixer Thaddeus Young became the 145th player to appear in 1,000 NBA games in the Bulls’ 106-99 home loss to San Antonio. The Bulls lost an overtime game at Denver and won at home against Detroit before Monday’s 120-95 loss at Utah.
22. Oklahoma City (19-24) (22)
After road losses to Chicago and Atlanta, the Thunder earned wins at Houston and at Minnesota. In Monday’s win over the Timberwolves, Shiai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points, hitting 4 of 6 from beyond the arc.
23. Toronto (17-26) (19)
The Raptors have hit rock bottom. They suffered their ninth consecutive loss during Monday’s 117-99 defeat at Houston, snapping the Rockets’ 20-game losing streak. Despite Toronto confirming that Kyle Lowry wouldn’t be traded, chatter continues with the Sixers and Heat mentioned as candidates if he is moved.
24 Cleveland (16-27) (24)
Collin Sexton continues to have a strong season. In Sunday’s 116-105 win over Toronto, he scored 36 points and hit 6 of 9 three-pointers. He is averaging 24 points per game the Cavs, who suffered a 119-105 home loss to Sacramento Monday.
25. Washington (15-26) (25)
Bradley Beal had 43 points and Russell Westbrook added 35 in a 131-122 home win over Utah on Thursday. Beal was held to 17 points on 6 of 15 shooting in Sunday’s 113-106 loss at Brooklyn.
26. Sacramento (18-25) (26)
The Kings rebounded from Saturday’s 129-105 loss at Philadelphia with Monday’s 119-105 win at Cleveland behind 30 points from De’Aaron Fox. That ended a six-game road trip for the Kings, who finished 3-3.
27. Orlando (14-28) (27)
If Aaron Gordon is on the trade block, he put on a show with 38 points, including 7 of 8 shooting from three-point range during Friday’s 121-113 home win over Brooklyn. That snapped a nine-game losing streak, but the Magic couldn’t continue the momentum, losing 112-96 at Boston on Sunday.
28. Detroit (12-30) (28)
The Pistons had their first two-game win streak in more than a month with a home win over Toronto and a road victory at Houston. The streak ended with Sunday’s 100-86 home loss to Chicago. The Pistons shot 4 of 25 from three-point range.
29. Minnesota (10-33) (29)
No. 1 overall draft choice Anthony Edwards scored a season-high 42 points in Thursday’s 123-119 win at Phoenix. Karl-Anthony Towns added 41 points. The week ended with a loss at Phoenix and a home defeat against Oklahoma City.
30. Houston (12-30) (30)
Christian Wood returned last week after missing 17 games with a sprained ankle. The Rockets went 0-17 in those games. They lost three more before breaking a 20-game losing streak with Monday’s 117-99 home victory over Toronto. John Wall, who has played well throughout this frustrating season, had a triple-double against Toronto, with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.