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NBA Power Rankings: Cavs take another dip after Thunder-ous rout

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CP3 takes it to the Warriors (0:39)

Chris Paul brings his A-game to the Warriors as he records 33 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, propelling the Rockets to a crucial victory over the Warriors. (0:39)

After a four-week hiatus, the Houston Rockets are back in the top two this week following Saturday night's home win over the Golden State Warriors. While the victory wasn't enough to knock the defending champs off their Power Rankings perch, Houston managed to secure the regular-season series against its Western Conference rivals.

In the Eastern Conference, another week means another drop for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are coming off a record-setting loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Every week throughout the regular season, our panel (ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz, Amin Elhassan and Ramona Shelburne, The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears and FiveThirtyEight's Chris Herring) will rank the league's 30 teams from top to bottom, with research notes on each team provided by ESPN Stats & Information.

Previous rankings: Week 14 | 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 |

1. Golden State Warriors
2017-18 record: 37-10

The Warriors' 14-game road winning streak was snapped on Saturday in Houston, ending a run that was tied for the third-longest in NBA history and tied for the longest in franchise history with a streak by the 73-win Warriors during their 24-0 start to the 2015-16 season. -- Michael Schwartz


2. Houston Rockets
2017-18 record: 32-12

With the Rockets winning the season series over a Golden State team that could have four All-Stars, does Houston have a case for three of its own? The Rockets are 31-8 with Clint Capela in the lineup and just 1-4 without their big man. Capela ranks sixth in the NBA in player efficiency rating. Each of the five players ranked ahead of him were named All-Star starters last week. -- Micah Adams


3. Boston Celtics
2017-18 record: 34-13

Although Kyrie Irving scored an efficient 40 points in Sunday's loss, the rest of his teammates combined to shoot just 37 percent as Boston once again struggled offensively. Dating back to Dec. 15, the Celtics rank last in the NBA in offensive efficiency. -- Micah Adams


4. Toronto Raptors
2017-18 record: 31-14

DeMar DeRozan will be making his second straight All-Star start and will be appearing in his fourth All-Star Game overall. Chris Bosh and Vince Carter are the only Raptors players with more selections (both with five). -- Jose De Leon


5. Minnesota Timberwolves
2017-18 record: 30-18

The Timberwolves suffered a double-digit loss on Thursday against the Rockets, their first such defeat since Nov. 24. That snapped a 27-game streak without a double-digit loss, the longest in franchise history. The previous record was 26, from Jan. 19 to March 9, 2004, the most recent season that Minnesota made the playoffs. -- Matt Williams


6. San Antonio Spurs
2017-18 record: 30-18

The Spurs face the 76ers for the second and final time on Friday and will look to avoid going 0-2 against Philadelphia this season. San Antonio swept the two-game series each of the previous six seasons and hasn't gone winless against the 76ers in a season since 2003-04. -- Jose De Leon


7. Oklahoma City Thunder
2017-18 record: 26-20

The Thunder's 148 points on Saturday against the Cavs were the most for the franchise in a non-overtime game since April 1994, when the team was based in Seattle. Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony combined for 88 points, the most by the trio this season. -- Michael Schwartz


8. Cleveland Cavaliers
2017-18 record: 27-18

It's hard to believe the Cavs' defense could play worse, but that's what happened in Saturday's loss to the Thunder, as Cleveland allowed opponent season highs in points (148) and field goal percentage (58.0). In fact, the 148 points are the most allowed by a LeBron James team. -- Michael Schwartz


9. Miami Heat
2017-18 record: 27-19

The Heat are fourth in the East, and there hasn't been much buzz of a Miami player making the All-Star Game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 2002-03 Trail Blazers are the last team without an All-Star despite being fourth or higher in their conference at the midseason break. Rasheed Wallace led that team in scoring that season at 18.1 points per game. -- Jose De Leon


10. Portland Trail Blazers
2017-18 record: 25-21

Will Damian Lillard make the All-Star team this week? He already has two seasons in which he averaged at least 25 points per game without receiving an All-Star nod. Should he do it again, Lillard would be the only player in NBA history with three such seasons to his name. His career scoring average is the highest ever by a player with two or fewer All-Star selections. -- Micah Adams


11. Washington Wizards
2017-18 record: 26-20

The Wizards started slow on Friday night, scoring only 19 points in the first quarter. They finished with 122, their most in a game in which they scored fewer than 20 points in the first quarter since Nov. 11, 1978, when the Bullets had 124 in a loss. (They had 19 in the first quarter in that game, too.) -- Matt Williams


12. Milwaukee Bucks
2017-18 record: 23-22

Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging career highs in points (28.2) and rebounds (10.1) per game. The last player to average 28-and-10 in his age-23-or-younger season was Shaquille O'Neal in 1994-95. -- Jose De Leon


13. Philadelphia 76ers
2017-18 record: 22-20

Joel Embiid was named as an All-Star starter on Thursday, his first appearance in the game. He capped off that day by leading all players for both teams (76ers and Celtics) in points, rebounds and assists. According to Elias Sports Bureau research, Embiid was the first 76ers player to lead both teams outright in points, rebounds and assists since Charles Barkley on March 19, 1990, against the Nets. -- Vince Johnson


14. LA Clippers
2017-18 record: 23-22

Lou Williams has scored 30 points eight times off the bench, while the rest of the league has nine such games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Williams could be the third player with as many 30-point games off the bench as the rest of the NBA's reserves combined in a season since 1970-71. The first two to do so were Ricky Pierce in 1989-90 and Cazzie Russell in 1973-74. -- Jose De Leon


15. New Orleans Pelicans
2017-18 record: 24-21

Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins will be the fourth power forward/center teammates to start an All-Star Game together since the NBA/ABA merger (1976-77) and the first pair since Moses Malone and Rudy Tomjanovich with the Rockets in 1979. -- Doug Clawson


16. Denver Nuggets
2017-18 record: 23-23

The Nuggets are 6-1 in home games this season with two or more days of rest, and that's the scenario for their next two games: against the Trail Blazers and against the Knicks. They should enjoy this week because next week they face a quartet of Boston, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Golden State in a span of six days. That's the fourth-toughest four-game stretch any team will have to play this season, according to ESPN's BPI. -- Vincent Johnson


17. Indiana Pacers
2017-18 record: 25-22

Should Victor Oladipo be at the All-Star Game? His numbers definitely say yes. He leads all Eastern Conference guards in PER (24.0) and ranks third in points per game (24.3) behind only DeMar DeRozan and Kyrie Irving, both of whom are starting. When Oladipo doesn't play, the Pacers really miss his production. Indiana is 0-5 without him in the lineup this season and has been outscored by an average margin of minus-12.8 in those games. -- Matt Williams


18. Detroit Pistons
2017-18 record: 22-23

The Pistons sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings having lost four in a row. The good news is they have the fourth-easiest remaining schedule in the NBA, according to BPI. Detroit doesn't play consecutive games on the road until the end of February and doesn't veer from the Eastern time zone until March 13 against the Jazz. -- Vincent Johnson


19. Utah Jazz
2017-18 record: 19-27

Donovan Mitchell leads all rookies in scoring and is second in 3-pointers. He's on pace to join Damian Lillard and Allen Iverson as the only rookies with 1,500 points and 150 3-pointers. -- Jose De Leon


20. New York Knicks
2017-18 record: 21-26

The Knicks suffered their fifth 20-point loss on Sunday, eclipsing their total from all of last season. They now must face a Warriors team that is on the road coming off a loss as well. New York plays five of its next six games on the road, where it ranks in the bottom three in points differential, made 3s and forcing turnovers. -- Vincent Johnson


21. Charlotte Hornets
2017-18 record: 18-26

Kemba Walker's name has come up in trade rumors. He is the team's all-time leader in 3-pointers, and he ranks second in points. Over the past three seasons, six players have averaged 20 points and five assists per game each season: Stephen Curry, James Harden, LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook and Walker. -- Jose De Leon


22. Chicago Bulls
2017-18 record: 18-28

Lauri Markkanen reached 100 career 3-pointers in his 41st game, the fewest games needed in NBA history. Could he reach 2,000 career 3s? Each of the top eight players in career 3-pointers has more than 2,000 3s. Among those, Stephen Curry and Paul Pierce got to 100 the fastest, both needing 58 games to do so. -- Jose De Leon


23. Los Angeles Lakers
2017-18 record: 17-29

With Lonzo Ball out with a sore left knee Sunday, Jordan Clarkson filled the point guard role in historic fashion, becoming the first Laker with 25 points and 10 assists off the bench since Magic Johnson in his brief return to the NBA in 1996. After losing nine straight games, the Lakers have won six of their past eight, with each of their past two wins coming without Ball. -- Vincent Johnson


24. Dallas Mavericks
2017-18 record: 15-31

Dennis Smith Jr. is averaging 20.8 points per game in his past five games, scoring 20 points in four of those games. He had five 20-point games in his first 33 games of the season. -- Jose De Leon


25. Brooklyn Nets
2017-18 record: 18-29

Spencer Dinwiddie made the game-winning floater with 1.1 seconds left to beat the Pistons on Sunday. Brooklyn is getting used to seeing these shots go down, as the Nets have made five of their last 10 go-ahead attempts in the final two seconds by four different players: Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Randy Foye and Dinwiddie. -- Vincent Johnson


26. Memphis Grizzlies
2017-18 record: 16-29

Center Marc Gasol is shooting a career-low 42 percent from the field and a career-low 45 percent in the paint. That ranks last in the NBA among all players, not just big men, with at least 300 attempts inside. The two players just ahead of him, CJ McCollum and Dennis Schroder, are 6-foot-3 or shorter. At 7-foot-1, Gasol's field goal percentage in the paint is on pace to be the worst by any 7-footer in the past 20 seasons (minimum 300 attempts). -- Vincent Johnson


27. Phoenix Suns
2017-18 record: 17-29

The Suns face the Bucks on Monday for the second time this season without Giannis Antetokounmpo. A win could give them a better chance of receiving the Bucks' 2018 pick from the Eric Bledsoe trade, which will happen only if the pick falls between Nos. 11-16. According to BPI, there's about a 40 percent chance of that happening. -- Michael Schwartz


28. Atlanta Hawks
2017-18 record: 13-32

Atlanta has won each of its past two games decided by three points or fewer, at home against the Pelicans and Spurs, after losing six straight games decided by one possession. Since Dec. 23, the Hawks have fewer home losses (two) than the Warriors do (three) and play five of their next six at Philips Arena. -- Vincent Johnson


29. Orlando Magic
2017-18 record: 14-32

Sunday's win in Boston as a double-digit underdog was a real head-scratcher considering how rough of a season it has been for the Magic on the road. Entering Sunday, they had lost 18 of their previous 19 games away from Orlando, including 11 straight. That was tied for the worst 19-game road stretch in franchise history (done multiple times). -- Matt Williams


30. Sacramento Kings
2017-18 record: 13-32

The Kings play their second game of a six-game road trip on Monday in Charlotte after managing just 88 points in the first game Friday at Memphis. Sacramento is averaging 95.7 points per game on the road, fewest in the NBA, and has failed to score 90 points in three of its past four road games. -- Matt Williams