Kings enters the top 10; Cavs go up as Clippers, Mavericks, Blazers go down

* Through games played on 11/23

1. Boston Celtics (14-4)

Last week: 1

Boston’s nine-game hitting streak ended with a loss to the Bulls, but the Celtics bounced back with a 125-112 victory over the Mavericks on Wednesday. The Celtics will entertain the Kings on Friday in a Beam Team vs. Beantown battle between the two highest-ranked NBA teams.

2. Milwaukee Bucks (12-5)

Last week: 2

The Bucks lost to the Bulls on Wednesday despite Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 36 points. The two-time MVP is averaging 30.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists. Milwaukee will host Cleveland on Friday.

3Phoenix Suns (11-6)

Last week: 3

The Suns have won three of their last four despite the absence of Chris Paul (heel), who could be close to returning after attending Wednesday’s practice. Devin Booker is averaging 27.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists.

4Cleveland Cavaliers (12-6)

Last week: 13

The Cavs won eight straight, lost five straight and now have four straight going into Friday’s showdown with the Bucks. Donovan Mitchell is averaging 29.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists.

5. New Orleans Pelicans (11-7)

Last week: 7

Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum have helped the Pelicans win five of their last six, including victories over the Grizzlies, Bulls and Warriors. Williamson had 32 points and 11 rebounds against San Antonio.

6. Denver Nuggets (11-7)

Last week: 5

Nikola Jokic scored 39 points in an overtime win against the Thunder on Wednesday. The two-time reigning MVP is averaging 21.5 points, 9.4 rebounds and 9.0 assists. Michael Porter Jr. is shooting 42.7% from 3-point range.

7. Atlanta Hawks (11-7)

Last week: 8

Trae Young scored 35 points as the Hawks ended Sacramento’s seven-game hitting streak on Wednesday. Atlanta won seven of 11, including victories over the Pelicans, Bucks (2), 76ers and Raptors.

8.Utah Jazz (12-8)

Last week: 6

Utah dropped five of seven after suffering back-to-back losses to the Clippers and Pistons. The Jazz will be further tested with three games over four nights against the Warriors, Suns and Bulls.

9. Sacramento Kings (10-7)

Last week: 12

The Kings went on seven straight — their longest streak since 2004 — before suffering a 115-106 loss to the Hawks. De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis will lead the Beam Team to Boston to face the Celtics on Friday.

10. Indiana Pacers (10-7)

Last week: 14

Indiana’s five-game hitting streak ended Wednesday with a 115-101 loss to Minnesota. The Pacers had won seven of eight behind Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Bennedict Mathurin and Myles Turner.

11. Memphis Grizzlies (10-8)

Last week: 9

Ja Morant returned from a sprained ankle to score 34 points against the Kings on Tuesday but couldn’t stop the Grizzlies from losing for the fourth time in five games.

12. Los Angeles Clippers (11-8)

Last week: 15

The Clippers lost four of five and head coach Ty Lue says there is no timetable for the return of Kawhi Leonard (right ankle sprain) and Paul George (right hamstring strain).

13. Washington Wizards (10-8)

Last week: 17

The Wizards won six of seven before losing to the Heat on Wednesday. They received great contributions from Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis.

14Minnesota Timberwolves (10-8)

Last week: 20

The Timberwolves jump six places this week after winning five in a row. Karl-Anthony Towns is averaging 21.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 5.3 assists.

15Dallas Mavericks (9-8)

Last week: 11

The Mavs have struggled a bit lately, losing five of their last eight games. They suffered a 13-point loss to the Celtics on Wednesday despite Luka Doncic’s 42 points.

16. Portland Trail Blazers (10-8)

Last week: 4

Damian Lillard is out again with a right calf strain and the Blazers suddenly find themselves falling, losing four straight and five of six after going 9-3 to start the season.

17. Toronto Raptors (9-9)

Last week: 10

The Raptors are on a losing streak to the Hawks and Nets. They lost four of six with their next few games against the Mavericks, Cavaliers, Pelicans and Nets.

18. New York Knicks (9-9)

Last week: 16

The Knicks suffered back-to-back double-digit losses to the Warriors and Suns before Jalen Brunson matched his career-high 34 points in Monday’s win over the Thunder.

19. Philadelphia 76ers (9-9)

Last week: 18

The injury report isn’t pretty in Philadelphia with Joel Embiid (foot), James Harden (foot), Tyrese Maxey (foot) and Matisse Thybulle (ankle) all on the mend.

20.Brooklyn Nets (9-10)

Last week: 24

Kevin Durant expressed his frustration following their 32-point loss to the Kings on Nov. 15. The Nets have won three of four since then, including a 112-98 victory over the Raptors.

21. Golden State Warriors (9-10)

Last week: 23

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Jordan Poole helped the Warriors to six of nine wins after going 3-7 to start the season.

22. Chicago Bulls (8-10)

Last week: 22

The Bulls lost four straight and six of seven before DeMar DeRozan led them to straight wins over the Celtics and Bucks. DeRozan had 36 points against Milwaukee.

23Miami Heat (8-11)

Last week: 19

Kyle Lowry scored 28 points to help the Heat snap a four-game losing streak with a 113-105 win over the Wizards on Wednesday. Miami and Washington will meet again on Friday.

24. Oklahoma City Thunder (7-11)

Last week: 21

The Thunder dropped eight of 11 despite strong performances from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who has recent run totals of 31, 30, 42, 37, 37, 37, 39, 33, 37, 34 and 38.

25. Los Angeles Lakers (5-11)

Last week: 28

The Lakers’ three-game hitting streak ended in a loss to the Suns despite Anthony Davis’ 37 points and 21 rebounds. LeBron James (groin) plans to return against the Spurs on Friday.

26. Charlotte Hornets (5-14)

Last week: 27

The Hornets had lost three straight and 11 of 12 before Terry Rozier led them to a 107-101 win over the 76ers on Wednesday. LaMelo Ball (ankle) is out again.

27. San Antonio Spurs (6-13)

Last week: 25

The Spurs went 5-2 to start the season but have since gone 11-of-12 on a losing streak. They’ll go on a six-game losing streak in a Friday-Saturday back-to-back against the Lakers.

28. Orlando Magic (5-13)

Last week: 26

Rookie of the Year candidate Paolo Banchero has been out since Nov. 7 with an ankle injury but could be close to making a comeback.

29. Detroit Pistons (5-15)

Last week: 30

Cade Cunningham is out indefinitely with a possible stress fracture in his shin. Rookie Jaden Ivey is averaging 16.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists.

30. Houston Rockets (3-14)

Last week: 29

Kevin Porter Jr. scored 30 points in Sunday’s loss to the Warriors. The Rockets had four days off before Friday’s game against the Hawks.

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