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NBA Power Rankings: Heat looking for traction

NBA: Houston Rockets at Miami Heat
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Mar 16, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) takes a breather during the second half against the Houston Rockets at American Airlines Arena. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

San Antonio
1. San Antonio Spurs (53-16; last week's ranking: 1): When asked if he'd honor his contract through next season, Tim Duncan said he's taking it "game by game."


Los Angeles
2. Los Angeles Clippers (49-21; last week's ranking: 2): The Clippers are hopeful J.J. Redick, who is averaging 15.7 points and has been out since Jan. 3 with a back injury, could return soon.


Oklahoma City
3. Oklahoma City Thunder (51-18; last week's ranking: 4): After an injury scare, Russell Westbrook is expected to play against Denver on Monday or Dallas on Tuesday.


Houston
4. Houston Rockets (47-22; last week's ranking: 5): After losing three straight games with All-Star center Dwight Howard, Houston has won three straight while he rested a sore left ankle.


Indiana
5. Indiana Pacers (51-19; last week's ranking: 3): The East's top-seeded Pacers play three other elite teams in their conference this week in Chicago, Miami and Washington.


Golden State
6. Golden State Warriors (44-27; last week's ranking: 6): The Warriors have a five-day break before playing Memphis on Friday. Andre Iguodala could still be out with a knee injury.


Miami
7. Miami Heat (47-21; last week's ranking: 7): The Heat have lost six of their last 10 games. Miami plays at Indiana on Wednesday in the last regular-season meeting of the East powers.


Memphis
8. Memphis Grizzlies (41-28; last week's ranking: 10): Memphis has won 24 of 33 games since Marc Gasol returned from injury on Jan. 14 and is now in the seventh spot in the West.


Portland
9. Portland Trail Blazers (45-25; last week's ranking: 8): All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge is listed as out for Monday's game at Miami with a low back contusion. He has missed five straight games.


Dallas
10. Dallas Mavericks (42-29; last week's ranking: 9): The Mavs, who play the Thunder and the Clippers next, are now in the eighth spot in the West and just a half-game ahead of Phoenix.


Phoenix
11. Phoenix Suns (41-29; last week's ranking: 11): Forward P.J. Tucker's defense has been overlooked in the success of the Suns, who have won five of their past six games.


Toronto
12. Toronto Raptors (39-30; last week's ranking: 12): Toronto is slightly ahead in a fight with Chicago and surging Brooklyn for the East's third seed.


Chicago
13. Chicago Bulls (39-31; last week's ranking: 13): Chicago has lost two of three games to Indiana and meets the Pacers for the final time in the regular season on Monday. This is a possible playoff matchup.


Brooklyn
14. Brooklyn Nets (37-31; last week's ranking: 16): With Kevin Garnett still sidelined, the Nets have won four straight games. Brooklyn is 11-2 in March and 27-10 in 2014.


Washington
15. Washington Wizards (36-34; last week's ranking: 14): Nene has missed the past 15 games with a sprained right MCL, but a source said he is expected back after the first week of April.


Minnesota
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (34-34; last week's ranking: 15): Minnesota is now 6½ games out of the West's eighth and final playoff spot. Kevin Love has never played in the postseason.


Charlotte
17. Charlotte Bobcats (34-36; last week's ranking: 17): Charlotte has won seven of its past 10 games. The East's sixth-seeded Wizards hold only a two-game lead over the Bobcats.


Atlanta
18. Atlanta Hawks (31-37; last week's ranking: 18): The East's eighth-seeded Hawks have dropped two straight games, but still own a three-game lead over the ninth-place Knicks.


New Orleans
19. New Orleans Pelicans (29-40; last week's ranking: 19): Anthony Davis, a Most Improved Player candidate, has nine 30-point-plus games and 26 games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season.


New York
20. New York Knicks (29-41; last week's ranking: 20): The Knicks will face the Lakers on Tuesday in Los Angeles for the first time since Phil Jackson became New York's president.


Denver
21. Denver Nuggets (32-38; last week's ranking: 21): J.J. Hickson recently joined Danilo Gallinari, JaVale McGee and Nate Robinson as Nuggets who suffered season-ending injuries.


Sacramento
22. Sacramento Kings (25-45; last week's ranking: 22): With 12 games left, the Kings are five wins shy of reaching at least 30 wins for the first time since the 2007-08 season.


Utah
23. Utah Jazz (23-47; last week's ranking: 24): The lottery-bound Jazz snapped a six-game losing streak with a win over Orlando on Saturday – just their second victory in 13 games.


Cleveland
24. Cleveland Cavaliers (27-44; last week's ranking: 25): The Cavaliers have dropped four of their past five and are likely to miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year since LeBron James left.


Detroit
25. Detroit Pistons (25-44; last week's ranking: 26): The Pistons have dropped five straight games and eight of their past 10. Detroit next plays at Utah, where it has lost 10 straight games.


Los Angeles
26. Los Angeles Lakers (23-46; last week's ranking: 23): The Lakers ended a four-game losing streak with their victory over the Magic.


Boston
27. Boston Celtics (23-47; last week's ranking: 27): Rookie forward Kelly Olynk has been strong in March, averaging 10.6 points while shooting 42.1 percent from 3-point range.


Orlando
28. Orlando Magic (19-52; last week's ranking: 28): The Magic have lost nine straight games and 23 of their past 24. Orlando lost a season-high 10 straight from Dec. 31-Jan. 17.


Milwaukee
29. Milwaukee Bucks (13-57; last week's ranking: 30): The Bucks believe rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo has been too offensive-minded since his return from the Rising Stars Challenge, sources said.


Philadelphia
30. Philadelphia 76ers (15-55, last week's ranking: 29): The Sixers are two losses shy of tying the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers' NBA record of 26 straight defeats.

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