Less than two weeks remain in the NBA regular season and there’s still plenty to be sorted out.
Six teams have clinched playoff spots and four teams have been eliminated from postseason contention. The other 20 still have work to do with between six and eight games to go.
The 76ers’ stay at the No. 2 spot was short-lived as the Celtics reclaimed their position just behind the top-ranked Bucks. The Nuggets also bounced back last week and the Grizzlies extended their NBA-best winning streak to six games with Ja Morant back.
See where every team in the Association stands with the play-in and playoffs approaching.
Team records current through games played March 26.
1. Milwaukee Bucks
Previous ranking: 1
After the Bucks blew out the Spurs and Jazz, they were on the wrong side of a lopsided final score against the Nuggets. In a duel between MVP candidates Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokić, Milwaukee lost by 23 in the Mile High City. The offense racked up 130 points against San Antonio and scored 144, the second-most this season, in Salt Lake City, but fell flat against Denver. The Bucks still have a 1.5-game lead on the Celtics for the best record in basketball and the top two teams in the East will play Thursday in Boston.
2. Boston Celtics
Previous ranking: 4
The Celtics steadied the ship last week with three dominant performances. They throttled the Kings on the road by 23 and blew out the Pacers by 25 and the Spurs by 44 at home. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were naturally at the forefront of this winning streak. Tatum, who tallied 36 points in Sacramento and 34 against Indiana, missed the San Antonio game due to a hip contusion and Brown responded with 41 points and 13 rebounds. The rubber match against Milwaukee is scheduled for Thursday with the season series tied, 1–1.
3. Denver Nuggets
Previous ranking: 6
Denver only played twice last week but it did more than enough to quiet concerns after a rough stretch. Jokić double-doubled in a 14-point road win over Washington and did the same in a 23-point win at home against Milwaukee. Since the Nuggets went on a four-game losing streak, they've won four of five, including their decisive victory over the Bucks. Next up is another visit from an Eastern Conference contender and its MVP candidate: Joel Embiid’s 76ers are in town Monday (Embiid won’t play due to injury).
4. Philadelphia 76ers
Previous ranking: 2
The 76ers surrendered most of the ground they had gained during their eight-game winning streak last week. A 1–3 stretch has them back out of reach of the Bucks and Celtics for the top two seeds in the East despite continued strong play from Embiid, who had 37 points and 16 rebounds in a double-overtime loss to the Bulls at home. James Harden (Achilles) missed the remainder of the week, which included a 25-point win in Chicago, an eight-point loss at Golden State and a 20-point defeat in Phoenix. Philadelphia has the toughest remaining schedule in the league, which includes bouts with Denver, Milwaukee and Boston, the top three teams in the NBA.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
Previous ranking: 5
Cleveland clinched its first playoff berth since 2018 after a 17-point win over the Rockets on Sunday. That was the fourth consecutive win for the Cavaliers and third of the week after they beat the Nets twice on the road. Donovan Mitchell had 31 points to lead the team in each game in Brooklyn and Jarrett Allen took over with 24 points and 14 rebounds against Houston. Cleveland has a healthy lead on New York for the fourth seed and is set to play the Knicks Friday in a potential first-round playoff matchup preview.
6. Memphis Grizzlies
Previous ranking: 8
The Grizzlies doubled the length of their winning streak with Ja Morant back in action last week. He came off the bench in his first two games back from suspension and scored 17 and 18 points, respectively, in two wins against the Rockets. Jaren Jackson Jr. erupted for 37 and 10 in the first Houston game and Luke Kennard had 30 on 10 made threes in the next game. Morant returned to his spot in the starting lineup on the road in Atlanta and his 27 points and six assists helped the team to a four-point win, its sixth in a row.
7. Sacramento Kings
Previous ranking: 3
The Kings lost both legs of a back-to-back on the road against the Jazz and at home against the Celtics early last week. That was their first time losing two games in a row since early February. De’Aaron Fox had 37 in the losing effort in Salt Lake City and the entire offense was stifled by Boston back home as no player eclipsed 20 points. Sacramento was quick to rebound with a win over Phoenix and revenge against Utah, both victories powered by the play of Kevin Huerter, who scored 29 and 27, respectively. Fox (hamstring) left early against the Suns and missed Saturday’s game against the Jazz.
8. Miami Heat
Previous ranking: 10
Miami had a major letdown over the weekend against Brooklyn, but its arrow is still pointing upward over the last few weeks. Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 35 points to beat the Knicks in South Florida and then Miami got thumped by Brooklyn. The Heat, who are on the road for their next two games, are on the precipice of securing a top-six seed in the East.
9. Golden State Warriors
Previous ranking: 12
The Warriors almost went undefeated last week. After wins against the Rockets, Mavericks and 76ers, they lost to the Timberwolves by three on a Karl-Anthony Towns three-pointer. Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry combined for 59 to beat Houston, Jonathan Kuminga’s 22 points off the bench led the way in the controversial Dallas game and Jordan Poole exploded for 33 at home against Philadelphia. Poole once again led the way in the Minnesota game but his 27 points weren’t enough in a low-scoring contest. Golden State has a hold on sixth place in the West for now.
10. New York Knicks
Previous ranking: 7
New York is on its second three-game losing streak of March after it lost to the Timberwolves at home and went winless on a two-game trip to Florida. Julius Randle scored a career-high 57 against Minnesota, the third-most points in franchise history, and the Knicks still lost by six. Randle followed up his big night with just 15 points in a loss to the Heat and Jalen Brunson (hand) was out for the five-point loss to the Magic.
11. Phoenix Suns
Previous ranking: 11
The Suns emerged from a 1–6 stretch to score a 20-point win over the 76ers this past weekend. And Deandre Ayton (hip) and Kevin Durant (ankle) could both be back in the coming days. Just last week, Phoenix lost to the Lakers by 11 and Sacramento by eight despite getting 33 and 32 points, respectively, from Devin Booker. He had 29 the next game against Philadelphia and Terrence Ross, T.J. Warren and Cameron Payne all chipped in off the bench. Phoenix has a slim lead on the Clippers for the fourth seed and home court advantage in the first round. Getting two starters back for the home stretch would go a long way toward maintaining that spot.
12. Los Angeles Clippers
Previous ranking: 9
The Clippers will likely have to close out the regular season without Paul George (knee). Their All-Star forward was injured in a loss to the Thunder last Tuesday and will be re-evaluated in two-to-three weeks. Los Angeles played Oklahoma City again two days later without George and won by 22 thanks to 32 points from Kawhi Leonard and 24 from Russell Westbrook. L.A. had no answer for New Orleans’s three-point barrage over the weekend and lost by 21 at home.
13. Oklahoma City Thunder
Previous ranking: 14
Oklahoma City held its own on a four-game West Coast road trip last week. The Thunder eked out a win against the Clippers in the first meeting and lost when the teams met again two days later. The Lakers also got the best of them on the second night of a back-to-back. OKC ended the week with a win in Portland behind a game-high 31 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a Josh Giddey double double. The Thunder have a light schedule ahead that could allow them to advance to the play-in tournament where they would have a shot at ending their two-year playoff drought.
14. Los Angeles Lakers
Previous ranking: 16
LeBron James returned from a month-long absence Sunday but the Lakers still lost to the Bulls by 10. He scored 19 in his first game back and set a goal for the team to avoid the play-in entirely as they are just a game and a half back from the sixth-place Warriors. Anthony Davis led Los Angeles to two wins earlier in the week over Phoenix and Oklahoma City and Austin Reaves displayed his playmaking with a 25-point, 11-assist outing against the Suns. L.A., which is 16–20 in away games this season, is on the road for its next five games with its play-in position in flux.
15. Minnesota Timberwolves
Previous ranking: 19
The Timberwolves are trending upward after an undefeated week that saw Towns return to the lineup for the first time since late November. Minnesota’s 140 points against New York was the third-most the team has scored all season and Taurean Prince’s hyper-efficient 35 points on 12-13 shooting (8-8 from three) set the tone. Towns (calf) came back at home against the Hawks and sunk a pair of free throws to put the T-Wolves ahead and they held on for the win. His clutch play was the difference in the next game against the Warriors as well as he sank a go-ahead three-pointer with 11 seconds to go.
16. Chicago Bulls
Previous ranking: 21
Chicago had a productive week that allowed it to not only maintain its position but also gain some ground on its fellow play-in opponents. The Bulls split a home-and-home with the 76ers—they won by four in double-overtime in Philadelphia behind Zach LaVine’s 26 points and lost by 25 at home as LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic combined for just 28 points. The next two games were double-digit road wins over the Trail Blazers and Lakers. LaVine again led the team in scoring with 32 and 33 points, respectively.
17. Atlanta Hawks
Previous ranking: 17
The Hawks handled the non-playoff teams from the East they faced last week and lost to the Western Conference playoff teams they were up against. Atlanta rolled Detroit by 22 points behind Trae Young’s 30-point, 12-assist double double and it was a group effort in a 13-point win against Indiana as eight players finished with 10-plus points each. The Hawks fell by one point on the road against Minnesota and by four back home against Memphis. They’re still fighting for favorable position in the play-in tournament and they have one of the toughest remaining schedules over the next few weeks.
18. New Orleans Pelicans
Previous ranking: 22
The Pelicans throttled their three opponents last week to extend their winning streak to four and they are now back to .500 for the first time in more than a month. New Orleans defeated San Antonio by 35, Charlotte by 19 and the Clippers by 21 on the road. Brandon Ingram had 30-plus points in each game, including a triple double in the win over the Hornets. He also flashed his playmaking again with 13 assists against L.A. in a game where the Pelicans shot 21-34 from three. For all of its ups and downs, New Orleans is just one game back from sixth place.
19. Dallas Mavericks
Previous ranking: 13
Dallas is in danger of missing the play-in tournament entirely one year after it made a run to the Western Conference Finals. A four-game losing streak last week dropped the Mavericks to 11th place, a full game back from the Thunder. A road loss to the Grizzlies and a two-point defeat at home against the Warriors—which the team is in the process of protesting—are at least understandable, but the team cannot afford back-to-back losses to a team such as the Hornets at this juncture, which is exactly what happened over the weekend. Luka Dončić finished with 40 points, 12 boards and eight assists in Charlotte, but it still wasn’t enough. Dallas is on the road for its next four games.
20. Toronto Raptors
Previous ranking: 20
The Pacers completed their 3–0 season sweep of the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena despite double doubles from Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet. Toronto rebounded to win its next two and is now one game shy of .500. Siakam’s 32 points and nine dimes paced the team in a 21-point win over Detroit and O.G. Anunoby racked up 29 points in a 10-point victory against Washington in which the Raptors led wire-to-wire. Scottie Barnes (wrist) returned from a two-game absence Sunday against the Wizards.
21. Brooklyn Nets
Previous ranking: 15
The Heat have drawn even in the standings with the Nets, who have one win over their last seven games. That included a 1–3 run last week, though their one victory happened to come against Miami. Brooklyn beat the Heat by 29 on the road to complete the 3–0 season sweep. The Nets also lost to the Cavaliers at home, twice, and dropped a game against the Magic on the road despite Mikal Bridges’ 44-point performance. Brooklyn is clinging to the last play-in spot in the East, though it has the easiest remaining strength of schedule and six of its final seven games are at Barclays Center.
22. Utah Jazz
Previous ranking: 18
Utah’s win over Sacramento last Monday was its fourth in five games and second in a row. Rookie Ochai Agbaji scored a career-high 27 points and Kelly Olynk flirted with a triple double with Lauri Markkanen out against the third-best team in the West. The Jazz then lost their next three. Markkanen dropped 40 points and 12 rebounds, but his team still lost to the Trail Blazers by 12. The Bucks bested the Jazz by 28 next time out, though rookie Simone Fontecchio finished with 26 points, a new career-high. And then the Kings got their revenge on their home court on Sunday, and Walker Kessler, another rookie, set a new career-best mark with 31 points.
23. Indiana Pacers
Previous ranking: 23
Indiana was on the road all of last week and won just once away from Indianapolis. Without Tyrese Haliburton (ankle), the Pacers lost to the Hornets by six and beat the Raptors by four. rookie Andrew Nembhard led the team with 25 points and 10 dimes in Toronto. Haliburton returned to the lineup for a back-to-back in Boston and Atlanta that did not go well for Indiana. The Celtics won by 25 and the Hawks did so by 13—they scored 143 points in the process, the second-most the Pacers have allowed all season.
24. Orlando Magic
Previous ranking: 25
The Magic are on a three-game winning streak for the first time since December. They held their own at the Amway Center and took down the Wizards, Lakers and Nets. Paolo Banchero led the team for the most part, but Orlando also got key contributions from Gary Harris, who scored a team-high 22 points against Washington, and Cole Anthony, whose 21 points helped the team survive 44 points from Bridges in the Brooklyn game.
25. Washington Wizards
Previous ranking: 24
Washington is playing itself out of the play-in picture. The Wizards have a 4–10 mark in March—two of those wins came against the league-worst Pistons and one was last week over the Spurs—and are now 3.5 games back from 10th place. Bradley Beal (knee) missed all but one game and Kyle Kuzma (ankle) was absent for the entire week. That stretch included losses to the Magic, Nuggets and Raptors, all by 10 or more points. Kristaps Porzingis led the team in scoring in each loss and Cory Kispert’s 26 points paced the team in a victory against San Antonio.
26. Portland Trail Blazers
Previous ranking: 26
The Trail Blazers are falling fast with just one win over their last nine. That lone victory came at the expense of the Jazz and it was the only game Damian Lillard and the regular starters were active for last week. Lillard’s 30 points and 12 assists powered Portland to a 12-point win over Utah on the road. Beyond that, the undermanned Blazers fell to the Bulls by 28 and the Thunder by six. Rookie Shaedon Sharpe shined last week as he assembled three consecutive games with 20-plus points, including a career-high 29 against OKC.
27. Charlotte Hornets
Previous ranking: 28
The Hornets were down their two leading scorers, Terry Rozier (foot) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (shoulder), for their two-game set with the Mavericks over the weekend. They ended up winning both. Led by P.J. Washington’s 28 points, seven Charlotte players finished with double-digit points in a victory in Dallas. And back in North Carolina, Washington, Gordon Hayward and Mark Williams helped clinch the shocking season sweep. Earlier in the week, Oubre scored 28 in a win over the Pacers and the Hornets lost to the Pelicans on the road decisively.
28. Houston Rockets
Previous ranking: 27
Houston tacked on four more losses to its season tally last week against a difficult schedule. The Rockets lost to the Warriors by 13 at home and then hit the road to begin a five-game trip. First came a five-point loss in Memphis, and the Grizzlies won by 37 when the teams met again two days later. Next up was a 17-point loss to the Cavaliers, their fifth in a row. The highlight of the week for Houston was the play of rookie Tari Eason, who had 21 points and 12 rebounds in the Golden State game, and went for 21 again against Memphis.
29. San Antonio Spurs
Previous ranking: 29
San Antonio’s league-worst defense allowed more than 130 points per game across four contests while its offense averaged less than 100 points last week. The Spurs fell to the Pelicans by 35, lost to the Bucks by 36, dropped their game against the Wizards by 12 and were blown out by the Celtics by a whopping 44 points. It was a fruitless road trip for San Antonio, which had gone 5–5 over its last 10 prior to this skid.
30. Detroit Pistons
Previous ranking: 30
The Pistons didn’t put up much of a fight on their two-game road trip. They lost to the Hawks by 22 and the Raptors by 21 and both losses clinched 4–0 season sweeps for Atlanta and Toronto, respectively. Marvin Bagley had a season-high 31 points in the Hawks game and Killian Hayes added 21. Detroit, which has lost five in a row and 15 of 16, has the worst record in the NBA by a game and a half.