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The Times' NBA rankings

Oklahoma City is No. 1 again; Clippers hold at No. 4.

February 09, 2013|By Ben Bolch
  • Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant cheers from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.
Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant cheers from the bench during the fourth… (Sue Ogrocki / Associated…)

YEAR OF THE DRAGON

1. OKLAHOMA CITY (38-12) Resting Durant, Westbrook combine for 0 points this week in 4th quarters. (1)

2. MIAMI (33-14) LeBron James is so good, he makes even the fans around him better. (2)

3. SAN ANTONIO (39-12) Winning streak that goes to 11 and ends there approved by Nigel Tufnel. (3)

4. CLIPPERS (35-17) Trey Thompkins’ feelings hurt by reports that team is back to full strength. (4)

A TIGER CAN BE A MATCH FOR THE DRAGON

5. NEW YORK (32-16) Knicks ask to be stranded in Minneapolis so they can keep playing T-Wolves. (5)

6. DENVER (33-18)  Homecourt edge in playoffs would equal a bye, goodbye to foes. (11)

7. MEMPHIS (31-18) Unlike post office, Grizzlies keep delivering on Saturdays at FedEx Forum. (7)

8. GOLDEN STATE (30-21) Warriors’ slide reminds fans of pretty much every season in franchise history. (6)

9. INDIANA (31-20) Green to participate in dunk contest, remind rest of NBA he’s still here. (9)

10. CHICAGO (30-20) Rose’s return is so big in this town it warrants a two-word press release. (8)

11. BROOKLYN (29-21) It may not be long before Blatche is booed on the road and at home. (10)

12. ATLANTA (27-22) Defense against Vasquez is grievous as Hornets guard gets triple-double. (12)

SNAKES STILL SLITHERING AROUND

13. UTAH (28-24) Jazz can’t win big with Carlos Boozer or, apparently, without him. (13)

14. BOSTON (26-23) League’s elite point guards want Celtics to stay mum about recent run. (17)

15. MILWAUKEE (25-24) Boylan learning what Scott Skiles already knows: This team isn’t all that. (14)

16. HOUSTON (28-24) NASA petitions Defense Dept. to send representatives to help Rockets. (15)

17. PORTLAND (25-25) Just as everyone expected, Trail Blazers holding off Lakers in playoff chase. (16)

18. LAKERS (24-27) Based on locker-room leaks, Coach D’Antoni thinks it’s the Year of the Rat. (18)

19. PHILADELPHIA (22-27) Listless 76ers need to visit “Rocky Steps” outside city’s art museum. (19)

20. DALLAS (22-28) Hey, Mr. “Shark Tank”: You’d be lucky to get $1 for a 100% share of roster. (20)

DOGS ARE NO MATCH FOR THE DRAGON

21. DETROIT (20-32) After going 12-11 since Dec. 21, Pistons tout themselves as best of worst. (22)

22. MINNESOTA (18-29) Poor shooter Alexey Shved on Team Chuck-It-Up at Rising Stars Challenge. (21)

23. TORONTO (18-32) Unlike Raptors fans, Stern remains committed to basketball in Canada. (23)

24. NEW ORLEANS (17-33) Having roster intact makes coach feel like the Full Monty Williams. (27)

25. SACRAMENTO (18-33) Kings hope they don’t need talent accreditation before possible move. (25)

26. PHOENIX (17-34) In twist on “Where’s Waldo?”,  fans play “Find the NBA player on this team.” (26)

27. CLEVELAND (16-35) Irving to make tearful goodbyes at All-Star game before returning here. (28)

28. WASHINGTON (14-35) John Wall now envious of fellow Kentuckian Eric Bledsoe’s game, team. (29)

29. ORLANDO (14-36) Recruit Collins’ mom probably wouldn’t let him sign with the Magic either. (24)

YEAR OF THE GOAT

30. CHARLOTTE (11-39) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist worried Coach Shaq may bring up Lakers collapse. (30)

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