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Celtics return to top of The Times' NBA rankings

Lakers move up one spot to No. 3.

January 29, 2011|By Mark Heisler
  • Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and the rest of the Celtics have reclaimed the top spot in The Times' NBA rankings.
Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and the rest of the Celtics have reclaimed… (Stephan Savoia / Associated…)

WHAT FINALS PREVIEW? ? 1. Boston (35-11) Back already? Forget something? (2) ? 2. San Antonio (40-7) If they finish 22-13, Lakers must go 30-5 to beat them. (1)

ON BRIGHT SIDE, IT'S NOT APRIL ? 3. Lakers (33-14) Unhappily after noting their age, West took rest of week off. (4) ? 4. Miami (32-14) LeBron shoots 7-24 as Heat flips out in loss in N.Y. (3) ? 5. Chicago (33-14) If Noah and Boozer ever play together, may never lose a game. (6) ? 6. New Orleans (31-17) You're unbelievable: Hornets allow 87 a game in 10-0 run. (7) ? 7. Orlando (30-17) Nelson shot 50% as All-Star in 2009, merely mortal 45% now. (5) ? 8. Oklahoma City (30-16) Still make what they have go a long way, just not as far as 2009-10. (9) ? 9. Dallas (31-15) Nowitzki still hurting? Rebound average since return is 5.0. (8)

10. Atlanta (30-18) Rookie Larry Drew in one of the more unsung coaching jobs. (10)

11. Utah (28-19) Happily it's not a season it takes 50 wins for playoffs: Just went 0-6. (11)

YOU STILL HERE?

12. Denver (28-18) Just went 4-0, if only vs. teams with a combined 54-111 record. (12)

13. Portland (25-22) Part of ensemble cast no longer, Aldridge at 25-10 this month. (13)

14. New York (24-22) Bagged elephant, even if Heat thought it was summer league game.(14)

15. Memphis (24-24) .500 the hard way: Went 7-3, coming from 21 back to upend 76ers. (16)

16. Phoenix (21-24) Bagged elephant, even if it was old Celtics playing back-to-back. (15)

17. Houston (22-27) Just think if Spurs kept him: Scola averaging career-high 19. (19)

EAST APPETIZERS, ER, PLAYOFF CONTENDERS

18. Philadelphia (20-26) Collins kept away from sharp objects after blowing 21-point lead. (20)

19. Charlotte (20-26) Fooled another one: Bobcats hoping Kwame's their answer at center. (22)

20. Milwaukee (19-26) Jennings back -- for 11 minutes -- as Bucks win third in row. (23)

THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED

21. Clippers (18-28) If you didn't notice before Gordon left, depth isn't a strength. (17)

22. Golden State (19-27) Meet Most Improved: Dorell Wright averaging 17 since Dec. 1. (18)

23. Detroit (17-30) Won in Orlando, blew seven-point fourth-quarter lead in Miami. (25)

24. Indiana (17-27) 4-13 run ends worry about breaking up team that could make playoffs. (21)

25. Sacramento (12-33) Lord of Flies cast stuns Lakers. Who knew it plays basketball too? (28)

26. New Jersey (14-34) Harris shot 32% this month before Melo talk died, revives in 4-2 run. (27)

27. Washington (13-33) Blatche baffled at booing. Try taking your 6-11, 260 bod around hoop. (24)

28. Minnesota (11-36) At 24-16, 52% this month, Love may be best non-All-Star ever. (29)

29. Toronto (13-35) GM Colangelo, hostage in Bosh dilemma, shaky as ownership changes. (26)

30. Cleveland (8-38) Must have worn themselves out hating Bron: 1-28 since playing him. (30)

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