Power Rankings: Hornets move into top 5

Updated: December 22, 2008, 2:29 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com


We won't quite be getting No. 1 versus No. 2 on Christmas Day.

But an NBA Finals rematch pitting No. 1 against No. 3 ain't bad.

While the Boston Celtics only tightened their stranglehold on the top spot in ESPN.com's weekly NBA Power Rankings -- making it seven weeks out of eight at No. 1, with four more wins to match the best start in league history -- their longtime rivals in Los Angeles have clung to top-three status despite the Lakers' narrow loss at No. 4 Orlando.

Read on for the explanation ... as well as New Orleans' return to the top five, Portland's return to the top 10 and a new occupant in the dreaded No. 30 slot.

You can click here to rank the teams yourself or click here to comment.

Also, check out John Hollinger's daily Power Rankings.

Tune in Tuesdays to "NBA Fastbreak" on ESPN to see this week's U.S. Army Power Rankings. The Celts are the U.S. Army Team of the Week after tying the 1969-70 Knicks and 1966-67 Sixers for the most wins ever by a team before suffering its third defeat.

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