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April 19, 1998|Mark Heisler

Team (Record): Comment (Last week's rank)

1. Utah (62-19): Started like Bulls (11-7), but Stockton came back in better mood than Pippen. (2)

2. Chicago (62-20): Now for that absolutely, final, never-to-be-seen-again (probably) Last Hurrah. (1)

3. Lakers (60-21): Won 60 for first time since Showtime, but somehow it didn't feel so glorious. (4)

4. Seattle (60-21): Oops: Everyone goes nuts as paper says Karl wants $5 million, will test market. (3)

5. Indiana (58-24): Best thing Bird did was last three weeks: Went 6-1 without Smits, passed Heat. (7)

6. Miami (55-26): If the referees had gotten it right, Heat would have finished on a 2-6 slide. (5)

7. San Antonio (55-26): That was bright idea, show how tough you are against a team that has Shaquille O'Neal. (6)

8. Phoenix (55-26): Here we are as the season winds down. Smurfs should crack any time now. (8)

9. Atlanta (49-32): Blaylock, noted streak shooter, warms up for playoffs, after a 39% season. (9)

10. Charlotte (50-31): Mason in wrong face, calls Hawks heartless. They sweep Hornets, 4-0. (10)

11. Cleveland (47-35): Of course, after last three miracle finishes, went 1-9 in playoffs. (11)

12. Portland (46-35): Nuggets won three games vs. winning teams--two vs. these schleppers. (12)

13. Minnesota (45-37): Too bad they can't keep Timberwolves together: The dudes finish on 11-4 run. (13)

14. Houston (41-40): If Tomjanovich goes all the way this time, I'll fly there, kiss hem of his garment. (15)

15. New York (43-39): Ewing says he's back in second round! Oh, Knicks aren't going to be? (16)

16. New Jersey (42-39): There you go again: Players bristle as Screamin' Cal puts loss on Kittles. (14)

17. Orlando (41-40): Now to see if Hardaway and Daly feel like shaking hands and starting over. (17)

18. Washington (42-40): Once again, Fab Two make Wizards best (lottery) team that money can buy? (18)

19. Detroit (37-44): On bright side, with one good big man and mellow Brian (?), they're back. (19)

20. Boston (36-46): Now to see if Pitino can get Employee No. 10-for-30 signed for $110 million. (20)

21. Milwaukee (36-46): Brandon missed 32 games, Robinson 22, Hill 21, but it won't be trainer who gets fired. (21)

22. Philadelphia (30-51): Been down so long, it looks up to them, (cont.): 76ers set attendance mark. (22)

23. Sacramento (27-54): Someone should have told Kings to enjoy '96 playoffs while they lasted. (23)

24. Dallas (20-62): Talk about your bad decades: Since 1990, Mavericks averaging 18.9 wins a season. (24)

25. Vancouver (18-63): Abdur-Rahim sets four club records. What club will he be on in two years? (25)

26. Golden State (19-63): Good news: Warriors saved their lottery pick! Bad news is everything else. (26)

27. Clippers (17-65): And Fitch thought things couldn't get worse after that first season. (27)

28. Toronto (16-65): Butch Carter expected to be rehired as Raptors opt for low-priced candidate. (28)

29. Denver (11-70): Congratulations: Nuggets will tie '92-93 Mavericks for second-worst record ever. (29)

Game of the Week


* When--Today. * Time--12:30 p.m. * TV--Channel 4.

* Story line--In the immortal words of ABC's Keith Jackson, these are two teams that . . . don't like each other very much. The Lakers are tres upset because of that Greg Foster nonsense. The Jazz plays hard all the time.

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