NBA fans were fortunate enough to witness the best teams from the East and West do battle in a nationally televised game this week, with the Milwaukee Bucks picking up a convincing 111-104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night. Unfortunately for the Lakers, that was the only game this week with both LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the court, as each was forced to miss one game due to rib and ankle injuries, respectively. As a result, the Lakers lost three straight games and dropped in the Power Rankings.

Meanwhile the Dallas Mavericks, who most expected to backslide without their offensive engine and MVP candidate Luka Doncic, navigated a tough schedule admirably, thanks to the emergence of Kristaps Porzingis as the No. 1 option. The Houston Rockets also impressed this week behind a furious stretch of basketball from Russell Westbrook, who appears to be getting more familiar with the Rockets' system.

Also jumping up the rankings are the Portland Trail Blazers, who, despite significant injuries, continue to make their slow climb back toward contention. As usual, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have been the driving force in their success. Here are this week's Power Rankings in advance of a jam-packed Christmas Day slate.

Biggest Movers
6 Nuggets
6 76ers
1 Bucks A shocking loss to the Mavericks without Luka Doncic ended the Bucks' gargantuan winning streak, but they started a fresh one with an impressive win over the Lakers in the biggest game of the NBA season thus far. George Hill and Donte DiVincenzo have stepped up in the absence of Eric Bledsoe, as the Milwaukee machine just keeps on rolling. Giannis Antetokounmpo has now hit at least one 3-pointer in 23 consecutive games, and is shooting 45 percent from behind the arc in December. Yikes. -- 14-6
2 Nuggets Denver is rolling, winners of six straight including an impressive effort against the Lakers without LeBron James to close out the week. The Nuggets' defense has been great all season, but the offense has really started to click in recent weeks as Nikola Jokic has improved his play. The offensive attack is always spread, with Jamal Murray, Will Barton, Gary Harris and Paul Millsap all capable of having big scoring nights. 6 14-7
3 Celtics No Marcus Smart. No Gordon Hayward. Not an issue. Kemba Walker was held without a field goal against the Pistons and the Celtics won by 21 points. The next game, Jayson Tatum set a career high with 39 points. Not to mention, we got some serious Tacko Time. The Celtics have impressed to start the season, and Hayward and Smart should return to the lineup soon. 4 15-4
4 Raptors The Raptors continue to confound logic, winning four games this week despite injuries to Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol. Should they have fallen behind by 30 to the Mavericks without Luka Doncic? Probably not. Was it fun to watch them storm back with Malcolm Miller, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris Boucher on the court? Absolutely. Nick Nurse is looking like the Coach of the Year front-runner at this point. 5 9-11
5 Rockets Houston had an undefeated week, including perhaps its most impressive win of the season in L.A. against the Clippers. James Harden has continued his assault on NBA scoring history, but the best news for the Rockets is that Russell Westbrook is finally starting to look comfortable. He absolutely took over the Clippers game when his team looked dead in the water, and has averaged 33.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 6.3 assists during the team's modest three-game streak. Eric Gordon could be re-entering the lineup in the near future as well, making the Rockets even more dangerous. 6 8-9
6 Lakers The Lakers lost three games this week (they hadn't lost two straight all season), and their lack of depth was on full display in a loss to the Pacers without Anthony Davis and a loss to the Nuggets without LeBron James. This isn't much of a surprise given the amount of the offensive load Davis and James shoulder, but losses are losses nonetheless. Even in the game against the Bucks, the Lakers struggled offensively when their two stars got off to rough starts and couldn't overcome an early deficit. It probably won't last long if LeBron and A.D. are healthy moving forward, but the Lakers backslid this week. 4 12-9
7 Heat The Heat started off the week with an inexplicable loss to the Grizzlies, but bounced back nicely to hand the 76ers their first home loss. Kendrick Nunn has been fantastic, gaining valuable experience with Goran Dragic sidelined. Bam Adebayo continues to make his All-Star case, and he was a key part of the zone defense that helped beat the Sixers. 3 11-9
8 Clippers The Clippers lost on their home court to the Rockets on national TV, then fell to a hot Thunder team in OKC without Kawhi Leonard to close out the week. Nobody's doubting the Clippers' talent, but it's clear they still have a lot to figure out in terms of rotations. The return of Landry Shamet adds yet another quality NBA player, but that means fewer minutes for someone else. The Clippers are nowhere near a finished product, and they're certainly fine with that. 5 9-10
9 Pacers Indiana picked up a big win over the Lakers without Anthony Davis, then beat the Kings before losing the Bucks in a game that was closer than the final score may suggest. The Pacers are a top-10 defensive team and have gotten contributions from up and down the roster offensively alongside the steady production of Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis -- both in the All-Star conversation. 1 10-8
10 Mavericks The Mavs had a chance to go 3-1 against four of the East's best teams without Luka Doncic, but they squandered a 30-point lead in a loss to the Raptors on Sunday. Still, a 2-2 record in that stretch, with wins at Milwaukee and Philadelphia, has to give the team all sorts of confidence with Doncic nearing a return. Kristaps Porzingis proved that he can be the best guy on a good team by averaging 22.5 points, 13.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks this week, while Jalen Brunson has filled in admirably for Doncic running the offense, averaging 13.8 points and 9.5 assists over their past four games. 4 11-8
11 76ers Just when it looked like the 76ers might be getting on a roll, they lost consecutive home games to the Heat and the Luka Doncic-less Mavericks. Neither game was particularly close (Miami let the Sixers back in late), and both highlighted the offensive issues they've struggled with all season. Philly is now 14th in the NBA in offensive efficiency, after finishing eighth last season. That being said, they're still 21-10 with their best basketball likely ahead of them. 6 12-7
12 Jazz The Jazz have quietly won five games in a row, including three against so-so opponents this week. Mike Conley returned briefly before re-aggravating his hamstring issue, which has to be concerning for Utah. The sliver lining to his absence is that Joe Ingles has found himself -- he's averaging 16 points, six rebounds and 5.4 assists over his last five games, while shooting 54 percent on 3-pointers. -- 7-13
13 Thunder The Thunder completed a perfect week and climbed over the .500 mark with a win over the Kawhi Leonard-less Clippers on Sunday. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander set a new career high with 32 points against the Suns, then matched it in the win over the Clippers. Dennis Schroder has been brilliant, averaging 25.3 points, 6.0 assists and 5.3 rebounds on 40 percent 3-point shooting during OKC's four-game winning streak. 3 13-6
14 Nets Spencer Dinwiddie and the Nets continue to impress with Kyrie Irving sidelined. Dinwiddie averaged an incredible 37 points to go along with six assists per game in a 2-1 week, with the only loss coming to the Spurs in San Antonio. Wilson Chandler made his return from a 25-game suspension, but the Nets also lost versatile wing David Nwaba to a torn Achilles. 1 10-9
15 Trail Blazers Guess who's quietly creeping toward .500 after a 4-0 week? A fan at the Blazers' home win over the Timberwolves held a sign that read, "Depleted, not defeated," and that perfectly summarizes Portland, which lost Carmelo Anthony in the latest of a string of frontcourt injuries. Thankfully Anthony's knee injury doesn't appear to be serious, but Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Hassan Whiteside have dragged this team back into contention. 5 6-13
16 Spurs The Spurs went 1-2 this week with losses to the Rockets and Clippers, but they're 5-5 over their last 10 games, at least suggesting some improvement from their dismal start to the season. San Antonio will be one of the more interesting trade teams to monitor, with LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan possibly attracting some suitors. That being said, the Spurs are only two games out of the eight seed in the West, and are one hot streak away from getting back to .500. 1 3-16
17 Bulls Chicago appears to be separating itself from the very worst teams in the league, with wins over the Wizards and Pistons this week, to go along with a loss to the Thunder. The Bulls' top two offensive players have come alive of late -- Zach LaVine averaged 32 points per game this week, and Lauri Markkanen put up 19.7 points per game on 55 percent shooting. 5 7-14
18 Grizzlies The Grizzlies continue to look like the young team that they are, picking up impressive wins over the Heat and Kings, while losing to the Cavs and Thunder. The offensive attack has been versatile, with eight Grizzlies averaging double-figure points over their last four games. The defense, however, still needs some work. 5 5-14
19 Hornets The Hornets started off the week by beating the Kings before falling to the Cavs, Jazz and Celtics. They've had trouble getting stops recently, allowing 116.6 points per 100 possessions over their last four games. Devonte' Graham has cooled off a bit, possibly as the league catches up to him scouting-wise. The Most Improved Player candidate shot just 29 percent from the field this week. 1 6-12
20 Kings The return of De'Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley was supposed to lead to improvement, but instead the Kings went 0-3 this week with road losses to the Hornets, Pacers and Grizzlies. There will be an adjustment period as the team gets used to playing with Fox and Bagley again, but they can't afford to lose games to Charlotte and Memphis when they're chasing a playoff appearance. 6 11-7
21 Magic Orlando dropped all three games this week despite having a healthy and productive Nikola Vucevic. Its defense has been solid all season, but offense has been a struggle. Both Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac averaged fewer than nine points per game this week, which isn't often going to spell success for the Magic. 6 14-6
22 Suns The Suns are in free-fall, losing all four games this week and eight of their last 10. Devin Booker missed three of those games with a forearm injury and hasn't looked great in his return, but there seems to be something off about the Suns following a surprising start to the season. Deandre Ayton's return from suspension was brief, as he suffered an ankle injury in his first game back and missed the following two games. Perhaps he can inject some life into a team whose defensive struggles have resurfaced. 3 12-8
23 Pistons Rough week for the Pistons, who played without Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, Christian Wood, Derrick Rose and Luke Kennard at various times. The result was four losses, including bad ones at home to the Wizards and Bulls. Griffin missed Saturday's game with an illness, not the knee injury that kept him out earlier in the week, so hopefully he'll be close to full strength when he returns. Detroit sure needs him. 2 2-18
24 Timberwolves Another week, three more losses for the desperate Wolves. All three this week came without Karl-Anthony Towns, obviously a large part of their offense, due to a knee injury. Andrew Wiggins has carried the offense with Towns out and Gorgui Dieng has filled in admirably, but they haven't gotten much help. -- 15-4
25 Cavaliers The Cavs picked up wins over the Hornets and Grizzlies this week after getting blown out by the Raptors. Jordan Clarkson has been a spark plug off the bench, and scored 33 points in 30 minutes in the win over Memphis. The whole league awaits a resolution to the Kevin Love situation. 1 11-9
26 Knicks The Knicks raised questions about Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce's job security by dropping 143 points in a win over the Hawks, and then suffered expected blowout losses to the superior Heat and Bucks. RJ Barrett is averaging 15.3 points on 40 percent 3-point shooting over his last three games. 1 12-7
27 Wizards The Wizards went 1-3 this week with losses to the Bulls, Raptors and 76ers after a win over the Pistons. They score enough to stay in games against even the best opponents, but their frontcourt injury woes continue. They played the whole week without Moe Wagner and Thomas Bryant, then saw injuries to Rui Hachimura and Davis Bertans later on. Bradley Beal might score 75 percent of their points moving forward if they can't get healthy. -- 3-16
28 Warriors Golden State split its two games this week, picking up a win in a battle for lottery balls against the Pelicans. D'Angelo Russell hasn't missed a step since returning from his injury, averaging over 25 points and seven assists in the two games this week. 2 9-11
29 Pelicans The Pelicans finally picked up a win by beating the Timberwolves, but then turned around and lost to the Warriors. It's been a struggle all season in New Orleans, and it appears Zion Williamson is still a ways off from making his debut. The Pels will be an interesting team as we approach the trade deadline. -- 11-10
30 Hawks Losers of seven straight, the Hawks are now tied for the worst record in the NBA and have the league's worst net rating. The 23-point loss to the Knicks on Tuesday was the low point of the season, and they played a bit more inspired after that, but still lost. John Collins is available to return from his suspension on Monday, and Atlanta desperately needs a jolt of energy and inspiration. 2 9-10