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C's climb in power rankings

The Boston Celtics climbed to No. 3 in Marc Stein's weekly ESPN.com NBA Power Rankings, while holding onto the top spot in John Hollinger's statistics-based rankings.

In Stein's latest offering, the Celtics are the top gainer in the top 10, hopping up from the sixth spot after a spotless four-game road trip. But he writes:

It's not this seven-game win streak that moved Boston up. Or a 9-1 road record that leads the league. It's how the Celts took it up a notch in back-to-back smotherings of San Antonio and OKC in their away green.

Our thoughts? Hard to argue with Stein's rankings this week. The top-ranked Lakers have the best record in basketball -- even if they've played a mere four games away from the comfy confines of the Staples Center -- and the second-ranked Magic beat Boston on its home court last month. Also worth noting: The Celtics have beaten just one team in the top 10 thus far -- 10th-ranked Utah.

In Hollinger's latest numbers, the Celtics are out front of the Lakers by fractions of a rating point (107.726-107.465). The strength-of-schedule number is working against the Celtics, whose opponents boast only a 46.0 winning percentage this season (compared to the Lakers at 52.3 percent), 26th worst in the NBA.

As always, we hope you hop over to our user-generated rankings and organize the teams as you see fit.