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NBA power rankings: Kings gaining ground on Nuggets in Western Conference playoff race

The surging Sacramento Kings have climbed to within four games of the top-seeded Denver Nuggets and the race could get closer in the final weeks of the regular season.

The Kings (42-27) were second in the Western Conference going into Saturday’s game against the Washington Wizards. They had won 10 of 12 since the All-Star break to overtake the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 2 seed, setting up a sprint to the finish over the next three weeks.

The Nuggets (47-24) have lost five of six after suffering a 116-110 loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday. They will visit the Brooklyn Nets and Wizards to conclude a five-game road trip before going home to face the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans.

The Nuggets have the fifth-most difficult remaining schedule in the league, according to Tankathon.com. They still have to play the Bucks, 76ers, Kings, Phoenix Suns (2) and Golden State Warriors. The Kings have the 17th-most difficult remaining schedule with upcoming games against the Boston Celtics, Nuggets, Suns, Warriors and Dallas Mavericks.

Can two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic carry the Nuggets across the finish line or will the Kings catch them down the stretch? Only time will tell. For now, here’s a look at our latest NBA power rankings.

* Through games played 3/17

1. Milwaukee Bucks (50-20)

Last week: 1

2. Boston Celtics (49-22)

Last week: 2

3. Philadelphia 76ers (47-22)

Last week: 4

4. Denver Nuggets (47-24)

Last week: 3

5. Sacramento Kings (42-27)

Last week: 6

6. Cleveland Cavaliers (45-28)

Last week: 5

7. Memphis Grizzlies (42-27)

Last week: 7

8. New York Knicks (42-30)

Last week: 8

9. Phoenix Suns (38-32)

Last week: 9

10. Brooklyn Nets (39-31)

Last week: 10

11. Miami Heat (38-33)

Last week: 11

12. Los Angeles Clippers (37-33)

Last week: 12

13. Dallas Mavericks (36-35)

Last week: 14

14. Golden State Warriors (36-35)

Last week: 13

15. Atlanta Hawks (35-35)

Last week: 15

16. Minnesota Timberwolves (35-36)

Last week: 16

17. Oklahoma City Thunder (34-36)

Last week: 23

18. Toronto Raptors (34-36)

Last week: 19

19. Los Angeles Lakers (34-37)

Last week: 18

20. Utah Jazz (33-36)

Last week: 20

21. New Orleans Pelicans (33-37)

Last week: 17

22. Chicago Bulls (32-37)

Last week: 24

23. Washington Wizards (32-38)

Last week: 21

24. Indiana Pacers (33-38)

Last week: 25

25. Portland Trail Blazers (31-39)

Last week: 22

26. Orlando Magic (28-42)

Last week: 26

27. Charlotte Hornets (22-50)

Last week: 27

28. Houston Rockets (18-52)

Last week: 29

29. San Antonio Spurs (18-52)

Last week: 28

30. Detroit Pistons (16-55)

Last week: 30