The Phoenix Suns have made their first appearance in the top spot of The Inquirer’s NBA power rankings. The Suns replaced Utah, which had been No. 2 the previous two weeks. The 76ers, coming off a 3-1 road trip, have moved up two spots to No. 4.
Records are through Monday. Last week’s rankings are in parentheses.
1. Phoenix, 38-15 (3)
The Suns have won two in a row and 9 of 10 after Monday’s 126-120 home victory over Houston. The only loss in that span was Thursday’s 113-103 defeat at the L.A. Clippers. Against Houston, the Suns hit a franchise-record 25 threes, including 18 in the first half, which tied an NBA record.
2. Utah, 40-14 (1)
The Jazz saw their 24-game home win streak end with Monday’s 125-121 loss to Washington. After a two-game road losing streak at Dallas and Phoenix, the Jazz won at home over Portland and Sacramento before losing to Washington. Utah has lost three of its last five.
3. L.A. Clippers, 37-18 (5)
The Clippers have won five in a row and 11 of 13. Despite playing with a nagging toe injury, Paul George averaged 33.7 points in his last three games and is the most recent Western Conference player of the week.
4. Sixers, 37-17 (6)
Behind Joel Embiid’s 36 points, the Sixers closed out a 3-1 road trip with Monday’s 113-95 win over Dallas. Embiid has shot 10-for-17 in each of the last two games. The one blemish on the road trip was Friday’s 101-94 loss at New Orleans, when Embiid was held to 14 points on 5-for-16 shooting.
5. Denver, 34-20 (2)
An eight-game win streak was snapped with Saturday’s 105-87 home loss to Boston. That was followed by Monday’s 116-107 loss at Golden State. Jamal Murray injured his left knee in the final minute of play against Golden State and was scheduled to receive an MRI. In Friday’s 121-119 home win over San Antonio, Nikola Jokic had an impressive triple-double — 26 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists.
6. Brooklyn, 36-17 (4)
The Nets went 1-1 at home, beating New Orleans, 139-111, and losing on Saturday to the Lakers, 126-111. Monday’s game in Minnesota was postponed after the police shooting of Daunte Wright on Sunday in a Minneapolis suburb.
7. Milwaukee, 33-20 (7)
The banged-up Bucks ended a three-game losing streak with Sunday’s 124-87 win in Orlando. Giannis Antetokounmpo missed his fifth straight game with a sore left knee. Milwaukee is 4-4 when the two-time reigning MVP doesn’t play this season.
8. L.A. Lakers, 33-21 (8)
LeBron James (right ankle sprain) has missed the last 12 games and the Lakers fell to 5-7 over that stretch with Monday’s 111-96 loss at New York. Anthony Davis (right calf strain) has missed the last 25 games, and the Lakers are 12-13 in those games.
9. Dallas, 29-24 (9)
After winning 6 of 7, the Mavericks have lost two in a row after Monday’s 113-95 defeat to the Sixers. JJ Redick, in his first game with Dallas, scored four points and shot 1-for-7 against his former team.
10. Portland, 31-22 (10)
Portland has lost three of four after Sunday’s 107-98 home loss to Miami. Enes Kanter had 24 points and 30 rebounds in Saturday’s 118-103 home win over Detroit. According to basketball-reference.com, Kanter became the first player to grab 30 rebounds in a game since Dwight Howard on March 21, 2018 for Charlotte against Brooklyn.
11. Atlanta, 29-25 (11)
The Hawks have won two in a row and are 13-5 since the All-Star break. Bogan Bogdanovic, who had 32 points in Sunday’s 105-101 win at Charlotte, has averaged 21.6 points in his last eight games.
12. Miami, 28-25 (12)
The Heat have won two in a row and 6 of 7 after Sunday’s 107-98 victory at Portland. Jimmy Butler is averaging 22.3 points and shooting 56.6% over his last eight games.
13. Boston, 28-26 (15)
Jayson Tatum, the Eastern Conference player of the week, scored 53 points in Friday’s 145-136 overtime home win over Minnesota. He shot 16-for-25, including 6-for-10 from three, and made 15 of 16 foul shots. In Sunday’s 105-87 win at Denver, Boston outscored the Nuggets, 31-8, in the fourth quarter.
14. Charlotte, 27-25 (13)
After road wins at Milwaukee and Oklahoma City, the Hornets lost at home to Atlanta, 105-101, on Sunday. The Hornets might have lost the game, but Miles Bridges had one of the best dunks of the season.
15. Memphis, 27-25 (14)
Monday’s 101-90 home win over Chicago snapped a two-game losing streak. Jonas Valanciunas had 34 points and 22 rebounds in Sunday’s 132-125 home loss to Indiana.
16. New York, 28-27 (16)
The Knicks have won three straight, all at home, against Memphis, Cleveland and the Lakers. In Monday’s 111-96 win over the Lakers, Julius Randle had 34 points and 10 rebounds.
17. San Antonio, 26-26 (17)
The Spurs snapped a five-game losing streak with Sunday’s 119-117 win at Dallas as DeMar DeRozan scored 33 points, including this game-winner.
18. Golden State, 26-28 (18)
In Monday’s 116-107 home win over Denver, Stephen Curry became the Warriors’ all-time leading scorer, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain, who had 17,783 points. Curry scored 53 points.
19. New Orleans, 25-29 (19)
The Pelicans have won three in a row after Monday’s 117-110 home win over Sacramento. In those three games, Zion Williamson has averaged 35 points. He had 37 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists in Friday’s 101-94 home win over the Sixers.
20. Indiana, 25-27 (20)
The Pacers have won three in a row, the first time with a three-game win streak since beginning the season 3-0. Caris LeVert has averaged 17.1 points in his 16 games with the Pacers.
21. Toronto, 21-33 (22)
The Raptors split road games to end the week, winning at Cleveland and losing at New York. Newcomer Gary Trent Jr. was hot in Saturday’s 135-115 win at Cleveland. He scored 44 points, making 17 of 19 shots, including 7-for-9 from distance, and went 3-for-3 from the foul line.
22. Chicago, 22-31 (21)
The Bulls’ 101-90 loss on Monday to Memphis was their third in a row. Zach LaVine had 50 points in Friday’s 120-108 loss at Atlanta. He shot 18-for-31, including 7-for-12 from three, and was 7-for-8 from the foul line.
23. Washington, 20-33 (27)
The Wizards have won 3 of 4 with Monday’s 125-121 win at Utah as Bradley Beal scored 34 points and Russell Westbrook added 25 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists. It was Washington’s second win over Utah and snapped the Jazz’s 24-game home winning streak. Former Sixer Raul Neto had a career-high 24 points in Saturday’s 134-106 loss at Phoenix.
24. Sacramento, 22-32 (23)
The Kings lost their seventh in the row, Monday’s 117-110 defeat at New Orleans. During the losing streak, the Kings have allowed 119.7 points per game.
25. Cleveland, 19-34 (26)
After winning two in a row, the Cavaliers ended their week with home losses to Toronto and New Orleans. Collin Sexton (groin strain) and Darius Garland (ankle sprain), their starting backcourt, were sidelined for the 116-109 loss to New Orleans.
26. Oklahoma City, 20-33 (24)
Saturday’s 117-93 home loss to the Sixers was the Thunder’s sixth straight defeat and ninth in the last 10 games. Leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has missed the last 10 games because of plantar fasciitis.
27. Detroit, 16-38 (28)
The Pistons have lost three of four, including Sunday’s 131-124 setback at the L.A. Clippers. Josh Jackson is averaging 16.3 points in his last seven games.
28. Orlando, 17-37 (25)
Mo Bamba scored a career-high 21 points in Sunday’s home loss to Milwaukee. The Magic have lost six in a row and 19 of 23.
29. Minnesota, 14-40 (29)
After missing 26 games because of injury, D’Angelo Russell has averaged 23.8 points in the four games since his return. Monday’s home game vs. Brooklyn was postponed after the police shooting of Daunte Wright on Sunday in a Minneapolis suburb.
30. Houston, 14-40 (30)
The Rockets have lost three in a row and 8 of 9, including Monday’s 126-120 loss at Phoenix. Christian Wood had 25 points and 15 rebounds against the Suns.