POWER RANKINGS

NBA Western Conference Week Nine Power Rankings: Denver Passes Golden State For No. 1

Dec 19, 2018, 3:31 PM | Updated: Jan 21, 2019, 3:37 pm
Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors guards Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi ...
Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors guards Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on December 16, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After a 3-0 week, the Denver Nuggets have past the defending champion Golden State Warriors for the top spot in the Western Conference Power Rankings.

The Utah Jazz are struggling and have dropped to No. 14. Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs have crawled back into the top 10 after being at the bottom.

Here is the KSL Sports NBA Western Conference Power Rankings for the seventh week of the season from games played from Wednesday, December 12 to Tuesday, December 18.

1. Denver Nuggets (21-9)

Week nine record: 3-0

Wins: vs. Oklahoma City, vs. Toronto, vs. Dallas

Nikola Jokic had 24 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists in their 11-point win over the Thunder. He finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds in the Nuggets’ impressive 9-point win against Toronto and 32 points and 16 rebounds in their 8-point win over Dallas.

Previous ranking: 2

Next up: at LA Clippers

 

2. Golden State Warriors (21-10)

Week nine record: 2-1

Wins: at Sacramento, vs. Memphis

Losses: vs. Toronto

Kevin Durant scored 30 points in a 20-point loss at home to the Raptors, he also led the Warriors with 23 points in their 17-point win over the Grizzlies. Stephen Curry dropped 25 points in the Warriors’ 5-point win over the Kings.

Previous ranking: 1

Next up: at Utah, vs. Dallas, vs. LA Clippers, vs. LA Lakers

 

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (19-10)

Week nine record: 2-2

Wins: vs. LA Clippers, vs. Chicago

Losses: at New Orleans, at Denver

Started the week with two losses by 15 combined points and ended the week with two wins by 31 combined points. Paul George led the team in scoring in all four games with 25 against the Pelicans, 32 against the Nuggets, 33 against the Clippers and 24 points against the Bulls.

Previous ranking: 3

Next up: at Sacramento, at Utah, vs. Minnesota, at Houston

 

4. Los Angeles Lakers (18-13)

Week nine record: 1-3

Wins: at Charlotte

Losses: at Houston, at Washington, at Brooklyn

LeBron James had 29 points in their loss to Houston, 24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in the Lakers’ 28-point win over the Hornets. He ended the week with 36 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists in their disappointing 5-point loss to the Nets.

Previous ranking: 4

Next up: vs. New Orleans, vs. Memphis, at Golden State

 

5. Los Angeles Clippers (17-13)

Week nine record: 0-3

Losses: at San Antonio, at Oklahoma City, vs. Portland

The Clippers have lost five of their last six games. They lost to the Spurs by 38 points on the road Tobias Harris scored 39 points to go with 11 rebounds in their 4-point loss to Portland.

Previous ranking: 5

Next up: vs. Dallas, vs. Denver, at Golden State

 

6. Portland Trail Blazers (17-13)

Week nine record: 2-1

Wins: vs. Toronto, at LA Clippers

Losses: at Memphis

C.J. McCollum had 40 points in their 9-point loss to the Grizzlies. Damian Lillard was impressive in their two wins. He had 24 points in the Blazers’ 6-point win against Toronto and dropped 39 points in their 4-point win in LA.

Previous ranking: 7

Next up: vs. Memphis, vs. Utah, vs. Dallas, at Utah

 

7. Memphis Grizzlies (16-14)

Week nine record: 1-3

Wins: vs. Portland

Losses: vs. Miami, vs. Houston, at Golden State

The Grizzlies are starting to wear off their magic from the start of the season. They have lost five of their last six games. Mike Conley had 23 points in the win over Portland, followed by 22 points against Miami and Houston.

Previous ranking: 6

Next up: at Portland, at Sacramento, at LA Lakers

 

8. Sacramento Kings (16-14)

Week nine record: 2-2

Wins: vs. Minnesota, at Dallas

Losses: vs. Golden State, at Minnesota

The Kings were able to score 141 points in their win over the Timberwolves. They lost to Golden State by five points with Buddy Hield scoring 27 points. He followed that up with a 28-point performance against Dallas and ended with 21 in their loss to the Timberwolves.

Previous ranking: 9

Next up: vs. Oklahoma City, vs. Memphis, vs. New Orleans

 

9. San Antonio Spurs (16-15)

Week nine record: 2-1

Wins: vs. LA Clippers, vs. Philadelphia

Losses: vs. Chicago

Fans wouldn’t expect to see the three game stretch that the Spurs had during Week Nine and see their only loss coming to the Bulls. Well, that happened, they lost by five points despite LaMarcus Aldridge scoring 29 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. They beat the Clippers by 38 points with Aldridge dropping 27 and a 27-point win over the Sixers with Rudy Gay scoring 21 points.

Previous ranking: 10

Next up: at Orlando, vs. Minnesota, at Houston

 

10. Houston Rockets (15-14)

Week nine record: 3-0

Wins: vs. LA Lakers, at Memphis, vs. Utah

James Harden had 50 points and 11 assists in their 15-point win against the Lakers. He then dropped 32 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in the Rockets’ 8-point win over Memphis and he finished the week with 47 points in their 5-point win over the Jazz.

Previous ranking: 13

Next up: vs. LA Lakers, at Memphis, vs. Utah

 

11. Dallas Mavericks (15-14)

Week nine record: 1-3

Wins: vs. Atlanta

Losses: at Phoenix, vs. Sacramento, at Denver

The Mavericks’ win over the Hawks put them on a three-game winning streak and winners of eight of their last 10. But they ended the week on a three-game losing streak. Luka Doncic scored a career-best 28 points in their 7-point loss to the Kings.

Previous ranking: 8

Next up: at LA Clippers, at Golden State, at Portland

 

12. New Orleans Pelicans (15-16)

Week nine record: 1-1

Wins: vs. Oklahoma City

Losses: vs. Miami

The Pelicans have gone 11 games alternating wins and losses. They had just two games during the week with a four-point win over the Thunder. Anthony Davis had 44 points and 18 rebounds, he had 27 points and 12 rebounds in their 6-point loss to the Heat.

Previous ranking: 14

Next up: at Milwaukee, at LA Lakers, at Sacramento

 

13. Minnesota Timberwolves (14-16)

Week nine record: 1-2

Wins: vs. Sacramento

Losses: at Sacramento, at Phoenix

The Timberwolves suffered a disappointing loss in Sacramento, allowing 141 points. They also lost by 8 points to the struggling Phoenix Suns. They got revenge on the Kings with a 132-105 win at home six days later.

Previous ranking: 11

Next up: vs. Detroit, at San Antonio, at Oklahoma City

 

14. Utah Jazz (14-17)

Week nine record: 1-2

Wins: vs. Miami

Losses: at Orlando (Mexico City), at Houston

Another rough week for Utah. Started with a 17-point win at home over the Miami Heat with Donovan Mitchell dropping 21 points. He had 24 points in Mexico City in the Jazz’ 7-point loss to the Magic. Mitchell ended the week with 23 points against the Rockets.

Previous ranking: 12

Next up: vs. Golden State, at Portland, vs. Oklahoma City, vs. Portland

 

15. Phoenix Suns (7-24)

Week nine record: 3-0

Wins: vs. Dallas, vs. Minnesota, at New York

The Suns have snapped their 10 game losing streak and won three straight. T.J. Warren scored 30 points in the 10-point win over the Mavericks. Devin Booker had 28 points against the Timberwolves and 38 points against the Knicks.

Previous ranking: 15

Next up: at Boston, at Washington, at Brooklyn

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