In a year of incredible statistical accomplishments, we saw some of the most impressive performances of the NBA season this past week. Jayson Tatum dropped 60 points in a comeback win. Luka Doncic put up a 31-point, 20-assist, 12-rebound masterpiece. Kevin Porter Jr., who you may not have heard of until this very moment, broke a record set by LeBron James in a 50-point, 11-assist outburst for the Rockets.
This just punctuates what an unprecedented season it's been -- in so many ways -- and we're now getting down to the nitty gritty with 10 or fewer games remaining for every team. As the jostling for playoff positioning continues, the Phoenix Suns have jumped into the No. 1 spot in this week's Power Rankings after a perfect week, supplanting the Los Angeles Clippers, who went winless. Also moving up are the Denver Nuggets, who just keep on winning behind their MVP front-runner Nikola Jokic, despite the absence of Jamal Murray.
The Los Angeles Lakers will no doubt be the subject of many an NBA debate on Monday, as they've now fallen to the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference despite the return of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and are dangerously close to being forced to participate in the play-in round as a No. 7 seed. The biggest risers this week are the Portland Trail Blazers -- that'll happen when you follow up a five-game losing streak with a four-game winning streak -- while the Cleveland Cavaliers plummeted to the bottom of the rankings after a tumultuous week.
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With just a couple of weeks to go in the regular season, here are the latest Power Rankings.
*Keep in mind that our Power Rankings are based on the team's performance the previous week, not the entire season.
|The Suns beat the Knicks, Clippers, Jazz and Thunder this week and, ironically, the closest game was against OKC. That's enough to get them to the top spot in this week's Power Rankings, behind 29.3 points per game from Devin Booker. Chris Paul has legitimately entered the MVP conversation -- whatever that means -- putting up 19.5 points and nine assists this week on 61 percent shooting from the field. Phoenix is now tied with Utah for the No. 1 seed in the West, and the best record in the NBA. What a year.||2||49-21|
|If Nikola Jokic wasn't your MVP before this week, he probably picked up your vote with incredible performances in wins over the Grizzlies, Pelicans, Raptors and Clippers. The big man put up 26.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game on 50 percent 3-point shooting as the Nuggets moved into third place in the Western Conference despite losing Jamal Murray for the season. Michael Porter Jr. has continued to thrive in Murray's absence, averaging 26.8 points on 45 percent 3-point shooting this week. Those who thought Denver would fade were sorely, sorely mistaken.||3||46-24|
|The Bucks gave up 50 points and 11 assists to Kevin Porter Jr. in a loss to the Rockets in which Giannis Antetokounmpo left with an injury just minutes into the game, but they bounced back with an incredibly entertaining win over the Nets on Sunday. Antetokounmpo put any injury concerns to bed against Brooklyn with 49 points on 58 percent shooting, including 4 for 8 from behind the arc. Khris Middleton averaged 24.5 points, seven rebounds and 6.5 assists on 39 percent 3-point shooting in a 3-1 week for Milwaukee.||5||45-25|
|The Nets beat the Raptors and short-handed Pacers before falling to the Blazers and Bucks to close out the week. Kevin Durant was brilliant in the loss to Milwaukee, putting up 42 points and 10 rebounds on 7-of-13 3-point shooting. Kyrie Irving struggled from the field in three games this week, while Jeff Green has been excellent of late, averaging 14.8 points and 6.8 rebounds on 39 percent 3-point shooting for the week.||2||46-24|
|Nothing will drop you from the top spot in the Power Rankings faster than an 0-3 week, and that's where the Clippers find themselves after losses to the Pelicans, Suns and Nuggets. Two of the games were without Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George has cooled off after a prolonged hot stretch which led to some relative offensive struggles for the Clippers, who didn't crack the 105-point mark in any of the three losses.||4||47-23|
|It was a perfect 4-0 week for the 76ers, who pulled a half-game ahead of the Nets for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, thanks to Ben Simmons' game-winning tip-in against the Spurs on Sunday. Simmons returned from a four-game absence this week, which helped the Sixers to a sparkling 97.2 defensive rating. Joel Embiid led the team with 22.5 points per game on 51 percent shooting, while Seth Curry averaged 14.5 points and made 14 of his 22 3-point attempts.||3||47-23|
|Utah lost to the pesky Wolves and the Suns this week, while destroying the Kings by 49 points and beating the Raptors on Saturday. The Jazz clearly miss Donovan Mitchell, who is still rehabbing a significant ankle injury, and Mike Conley missed all but one game this week. The No. 1 seed is in serious danger, as the Suns pulled into a tie for first with their win on Sunday.||3||50-20|
|The Knicks saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end in a loss to the Suns, but then kicked off another one by handily beating the Bulls and Rockets to close out the week. There's not much more we can say about Julius Randle, who averaged 27.7 points per game this week on 50 percent 3-point shooting, while New York got strong contributions from RJ Barrett (20 points per game) and Derrick Rose (17.3) as well. Since April 1, the Knicks have the second-best offensive rating in the NBA, and the third-best defense.||2||39-31|
|The Heat went 3-1 this week and have won seven of their last nine games to move into a tie with Atlanta for the No. 5 spot in the East. Jimmy Butler continues to be the engine on both sides of the ball, averaging 23.8 points, seven rebounds and 5.8 assists this week on 50 percent shooting, while Kendrick Nunn put up 19.7 points per game on 45 percent 3-point shooting in three games.||2||39-31|
|The Blazers responded to a five-game losing streak by rattling off four straight road wins this week, including big ones over the Grizzlies, Nets and Celtics. Damian Lillard was terrific, putting up 26 points and 8.3 assists per game this week on 44 percent 3-point shooting, while CJ McCollum added 22.3 points on 52 percent from beyond the arc. Jusuf Nurkic also appears to be getting his legs underneath him, averaging 15.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game this week on 57 percent shooting. Portland is currently the No. 7 seed, but has the same record as the two teams above them -- the Lakers and Mavs.||9||41-30|
|The Hawks offense fell off a cliff in losing to the Pistons and then twice to the 76ers. They pulled out a win over the Bulls on Saturday, however, to get the ship headed back in the right direction. Trae Young returned for the final two games of the week after a four-game absence due to an ankle injury, putting up 32.5 points and 5.5 assists per game on 43 percent 3-point shooting.||4||40-31|
|If only the Mavericks didn't have to play the Kings. Dallas lost to Sacramento twice this week, with wins over the Warriors, Pistons and Wizards in between. Luka Doncic put on a show in the win over Washington, becoming just the fourth NBA player to ever put up a 30-point, 20-assist, 10-rebound game -- and he only had one turnover. Kristaps Porzingis returned from a three-game absence against the Pistons, only to leave early and miss the next two games with knee soreness.||2||41-29|
|Losses to the Mavs and Wolves to start the week pretty much ensure that the play-in is the ceiling for the Warriors, who finished off the week with a win over the Rockets. It seems like Steph Curry had a bad week based on what we'd seen for most of April, but he still averaged 31 points on 42 percent 3-point shooting. Kelly Oubre Jr. reportedly has a ligament tear and fracture to his left wrist and hand, which would be a tremendous blow to the Warriors' postseason upset hopes.||1||37-33|
|Even without Jayson Tatum, losing to the tanking Thunder isn't a good look for a team trying to build momentum for the playoffs. The Celtics bounced back with a win over the Hornets and finished off a monumental comeback in overtime against the Spurs before losing to the Blazers on Sunday. Tatum dropped a career-high 60 points in the win over San Antonio, tying Larry Bird for the single-game franchise record. Tatum averaged an absurd 42.7 points in three games this week on 13-for-22 3-point shooting, while Jaylen Brown put up 27.5 points per game with Kemba Walker missing all four games due to an oblique injury.||1||35-35|
|The Los Angeles Lakers are now dangerously close to play-in position, as Sunday's loss dropped them to the No. 6 seed, and a three-way tie with the Mavericks and Blazers. Confidence is surely still high with LeBron James and Anthony Davis back on the court, but no defending champion wants to face a potential win-or-go home situation before the playoffs actually begin. Consecutive losses to the Wizards, Kings and Raptors sting particularly strongly because of upcoming matchups with the Nuggets, Clippers, Blazers, Suns and Knicks. Stay tuned.||1||40-30|
|The Pelicans picked up three wins this week, but dropped a close one in Denver as they chase the final play-in spot. A lot of cards are going to have to fall in New Orleans' direction to get to the postseason, and a back-to-back set with the Warriors to kick off next week will be crucial for their chances. Weeks of 25-plus points and 60-plus percent field goal shooting have become commonplace for Zion Williamson, who went for 27 per game on 61 percent shooting this week. Lonzo Ball averaged 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game, including a career-high 33 points in Saturday's overtime win over the Wolves.||6||31-39|
|The Spurs had a flair for the dramatic this week, playing three overtime games but winning just one of them. They also saw a 32-point lead evaporate as Jayson Tatum dropped 60 against them in a rough loss to Boston. The Spurs are 2.5 games up on the Pelicans for the final Western Conference playoff spot, and just one game behind Memphis for the No. 8 seed.||--||33-37|
|The Wizards finally lost a couple of games this week, but only by four total points. They also picked up wins over the Lakers and Cavs to give themselves a firm hold on the final play-in spot, with a chance to move up. Bradley Beal averaged 30 points in the four games, but struggled from 3-point range, while Russell Westbrook put up 24.3 points, 13.3 rebounds and 12 assists per game, including an impressive 42-10-9 line in Saturday's loss to the Mavericks.||3||32-38|
|The Grizzlies went 1-3 this week, including a rough loss to the Magic on Cole Anthony's game-winner, but they look like a solid bet to finish in play-in position. Jaren Jackson Jr. is still finding his rhythm after a lengthy absence, averaging 10 points and 6.3 rebounds on just 32 percent shooting this week, while Ja Morant averaged 16.8 points and 6.8 assists.||3||37-33|
|The Hornets went 1-3 this week, but received a breath of fresh air with the return of LaMelo Ball and Malik Monk to the lineup. Ball wasted no time getting back into the flow, averaging 12.5 points, 6.5 assists and 6.5 rebounds in his first two games back. Miles Bridges has flourished with Gordon Hayward out of the lineup, putting up 20.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists this week on 38 percent 3-point shooting.||2||33-37|
|The Kings beat the Lakers once and the Mavericks twice this week without De'Aaron Fox. They also lost to the Jazz by 49 at home, but overall it was a great week for Sacramento as it desperately clings to fading play-in hopes. Marvin Bagley returned to the lineup for the last two games of the week, averaging 17 points and 6.5 rebounds on 56 percent shooting, while rookie Tyrese Haliburton, who had been brilliant in Fox's absence, suffered a scary knee injury on Sunday. The Kings are 4.5 games back of the No. 10 spot with eight remaining.||5||31-39|
|Domantas Sabonis returned from a six-game absence and all he did was put up a triple-double against the Thunder -- in the first half -- en route to the biggest road win in NBA history. The Pacers also lost to the Blazers and Nets this week, and Sabonis' return coincided with Malcolm Brogdon missing the win with a hamstring injury. Caris LeVert carried the offensive load, putting up 25.7 points per game this week on 53 percent 3-point shooting.||2||33-37|
|In a rare five-game week, the Raptors beat the Cavs and Lakers with losses to the Nets, Nuggets and Jazz. Sunday's win brings Toronto within two games of the Wizards in the loss column for the final play-in spot. With regulars Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby back in the lineup, it wouldn't be the craziest thing in the world to see a late run from the Raptors.||2||27-43|
|Already eliminated from this postseason, the Wolves are building some serious momentum for next season with a hot stretch to wind things down. They won three of four this week, including a second straight win over the Jazz, and their loss came in overtime to the Pelicans. Karl-Anthony Towns averaged 25.5 points and 10.8 rebounds on 37 percent 3-point shooting this week, while D'Angelo Russell put up 16.5 points and 9.5 assists per game.||--||22-48|
|Monday's win over the Heat was followed by losses to the Knicks, Bucks and Hawks, as Chicago struggled to put the ball in the basket this week with Zach LaVine still sidelined. Nikola Vucevic was steady as ever, averaging 22.3 points and 14.7 rebounds on 38 percent 3-point shooting in three games this week. The Bulls can still get to a play-in spot, but it's going to take some work.||2||30-40|
|Give the Magic credit-- they're not going down without a fight. Cole Anthony's game-winning 3-pointer against Memphis (and ensuing postgame interview) was a rare joyful moment for Orlando this season. They went 2-2 this week, also beating the Cavs while losing to the Lakers and those very same Grizzlies. Anthony averaged 18.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists on 53 percent 3-point shooting for the week.||3||21-49|
|The Pistons picked up a solid win over the Hawks this week before sitting Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee in losses to the Mavs and Hornets. That resulted in Frank Jackson leading the team in scoring 21 points per game, while shooting 48 percent from 3-point range. Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart continued their strong rookie seasons as Detroit looks toward the future.||--||20-50|
|Sure, the Rockets lost three more games this week, but who cares about that? Kevin Porter Jr. bested LEBRON JAMES in a win over the Bucks by becoming the youngest player in NBA history to drop at least 50 points and 10 assists in a game. Porter shot 37 percent from 3-point range this week, while Christian Wood averaged 21 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.||--||16-54|
|The Thunder played five games this week, and they actually won one, snapping a 14-game losing streak. They also lost one by 57 points, the largest home loss in NBA history, so things are truly in the eye of the beholder here. Lu Dort was granted permission to play in three of the five games this week, averaging 17 points, while Ty Jerome caught fire, putting up 14.3 points per game on 58 percent 3-point shooting.||1||21-49|
|The Cavs went 0-4 this week, but it was much worse than that. Kevin Love let his frustration boil over and showed up his teammates by carelessly slapping the ball in bounds for a turnover at a crucial point against the Raptors, then he didn't take a single shot in 22 minutes in a loss to the Wizards. To make matters worse, Darius Garland -- who had been playing well recently -- missed Saturday's loss to the Heat with an injured ankle. This isn't the type of momentum a rebuilding team wants to take into the offseason.||5||22-48|