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NBA Power Rankings: Despite loss, rolling Raptors climb to No. 2

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Russ had himself another triple-double day (0:55)

Russell Westbrook records another triple-double, this time with 37 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds in the Thunder's 132-125 win over the Raptors. (0:55)

The Toronto Raptors' 11-game winning streak has been snapped at the hands of Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Raptors' consolation prize: this week's No. 2 ranking.

Toronto's impressive run atop the Eastern Conference, paired with injuries to three of the Golden State Warriors' four superstars, sends the defending champs into the third spot for the first time since Week 8.

Meanwhile, a trio of Western Conference teams -- the Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz and OKC -- are staying red-hot near the top of our list.

Every week throughout the regular season, our panel (ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz, Amin Elhassan and Ramona Shelburne, The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears and FiveThirtyEight's Chris Herring) will rank the league's 30 teams from top to bottom, with research notes on each team provided by ESPN Stats & Information.

Week: 22 | 21 | 20 | 19 | 18 | 17 | 16 | 15 | 14
13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

1. Houston Rockets
2017-18 record: 56-14

The Rockets are three games up on the Warriors in the race for the Western Conference's No. 1 seed. This bodes well for Houston, as 23 of the 34 champions have been top seeds since playoff seeding began in 1983-84. -- Jose De Leon


2. Toronto Raptors
2017-18 record: 52-18

The Raptors' franchise-record-tying 11-game winning streak was snapped by the Thunder on Sunday afternoon. During the streak, Toronto boasted the league's best offense and fifth-best defense. -- Michael Schwartz


3. Golden State Warriors
2017-18 record: 53-17

Without Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson, what should we expect from Draymond Green? Including the past two games, Green has played 134 minutes this season without any of the other Big Four on the court. The Warriors are outscoring opponents by 3.4 points per 100 possessions in those 134 minutes. -- Matt Williams


4. Portland Trail Blazers
2017-18 record: 44-26

The Blazers extended their win streak Sunday to 13 games, which is tied for the third longest in franchise history (their longest was 16 straight in 1990-91). Portland has also dominated during the streak, averaging an NBA-best point differential of 12.1 per game since Valentine's Day, the first day of the win streak. -- Matt Williams


5. Oklahoma City Thunder
2017-18 record: 43-29

In Sunday's win at Toronto, Westbrook joined Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history with at least three career streaks of five straight triple-doubles, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. The Thunder improved to 5-2 against the Raptors, Rockets and Warriors, giving them the best record and most wins in the NBA against the league's three best teams. -- Michael Schwartz


6. Utah Jazz
2017-18 record: 40-30

The Jazz are rolling, winners of nine straight and 21 of their past 23 games. According to Elias Sports Bureau research, this is only the fourth season in Jazz history in which Utah has won 21 times over a 23-game span. They also did it 1994-95, 1996-97 and 1997-98. -- Matt Williams


7. Boston Celtics
2017-18 record: 47-23

Kyrie Irving has missed the past three games and in the All-Star point guard's absence, Marcus Morris stepped up to record his best game of the season on Wednesday against the Wizards. Morris finished with a season-high 31 points on 11 made field goals. -- Jose De Leon


8. Cleveland Cavaliers
2017-18 record: 40-29

The Cavaliers finished their six-game road trip on Saturday, going 3-3, but a potential theme has emerged. Since the All-Star break, Cleveland is 5-1 against teams with a record below .500. Over this same stretch, the Cavaliers are 1-6 against teams with a record of .500 or better. This trend will be tested on Monday and Wednesday as they face the Bucks and Raptors. -- Matt Williams


9. Washington Wizards
2017-18 record: 40-30

The Wizards beat the Celtics in the second game of a back-to-back on Wednesday, improving to 6-6 on zero days' rest this season. It was Washington's first such win since John Wall has been out with a knee injury (lost previous four games). -- Jose De Leon


10. Philadelphia 76ers
2017-18 record: 38-30

ESPN's Basketball Power Index projects the 76ers as the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference thanks to the easiest remaining schedule in the NBA. Ten of Philly's final 14 games are against teams with a losing record. -- Michael Schwartz


11. San Antonio Spurs
2017-18 record: 40-30

LaMarcus Aldridge went for 39 points and 10 rebounds in the Spurs' win over the Timberwolves on Saturday. Aldridge is the first Spur to go for 35 and 10 in more than a decade. Tim Duncan was the last San Antonio player to put up that line, in December 2007 in a loss to the Suns. -- Michael Schwartz


12. New Orleans Pelicans
2017-18 record: 40-30

The Pelicans are in the middle of something that has never happened in NBA history. After hosting the Rockets and Celtics this past Saturday and Sunday at Smoothie King Center, the Pelicans will host the Mavericks on Tuesday, Pacers (in a makeup game) on Wednesday and Lakers on Thursday. According to Elias Sports Bureau research, the Pelicans will become the first team in NBA history to play five games in the same arena within a span of six days. -- Matt Williams


13. Minnesota Timberwolves
2017-18 record: 40-31

The Timberwolves have played their past nine games without Jimmy Butler, and Andrew Wiggins hasn't necessarily lit up the scoreboard in his absence. In those games, Wiggins is averaging 20.8 points per game on 47 percent shooting. That's only 2.8 more points per game than his season average. -- Jose De Leon


14. Indiana Pacers
2017-18 record: 40-30

The Pacers are in a battle with the Cavaliers and Wizards for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs; Indiana went 1-2 against Washington and 3-1 against Cleveland. The Cavaliers have played 10 teams at least three times this season. The Pacers are the only team to beat them at least three times. -- Jose De Leon


15. Milwaukee Bucks
2017-18 record: 37-32

Giannis Antetokounmpo needs to increase his assists per game by 0.2 to become the ninth player in NBA history to average 25 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists per game in a single season. Before DeMarcus Cousins this season and Westbrook last season, this had not been done since Charles Barkley during his 1992-93 campaign. -- Michael Schwartz


16. Denver Nuggets
2017-18 record: 38-32

The path to the playoffs is looking rocky for Denver. The Nuggets lost 101-94 on Saturday against the Grizzlies, snapping Memphis' 19-game losing streak. Denver's seven-game road trip, their longest of the season, continues Monday in Miami. Following the Nuggets' game on Wednesday against the Bulls, they play their final 10 games against opponents with a record currently above .500. -- Matt Williams


17. LA Clippers
2017-18 record: 37-32

The Clippers play their next four games on the road with one of those on zero days' rest. They're 2-2 in their past four road games on zero days' rest after losing their first five such games of the season. -- Jose De Leon


18. Miami Heat
2017-18 record: 37-33

No team has played in more clutch-time games than the Heat this season, as 47 of them have been within five points in the final five minutes. But after starting 22-11 in those games, they've since gone 4-10. With Detroit plummeting, Miami appears to be safely in the postseason and has a chance to move up from No. 8 with the sixth-easiest schedule remaining in the NBA, per BPI. -- Vincent Johnson


19. Los Angeles Lakers
2017-18 record: 31-38

The Lakers will have to make a decision regarding Julius Randle, who is set to become a restricted free agent this summer. Randle has had a strong season, especially in his past four games, where he has recorded at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in each. That is the longest streak by a Lakers player since Pau Gasol had a five-game streak in January 2014. -- Matt Williams


20. Charlotte Hornets
2017-18 record: 30-40

Dwight Howard is on pace for his 11th season averaging at least 12 rebounds per game, which will be tied for third-most in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. Howard is also eight rebounds away from passing Jerry Lucas for 16th-most all time. -- Michael Schwartz


21. Detroit Pistons
2017-18 record: 30-39

The road has not been kind to the Pistons, who have lost 12 straight and 17 of their past 18 games away from Detroit. The Pistons' 1-17 record on the road since Dec. 20 is worst in the NBA, and their 12-game road losing streak is the longest for the franchise since losing 13 consecutive from January to March 2014. -- Matt Williams


22. Chicago Bulls
2017-18 record: 24-45

The Bulls are 4-4 in March, a better record than the Celtics', Cavaliers' and Timberwolves', to name a few teams. According to BPI, Chicago has the eighth-best odds of getting the top pick in this year's NBA draft. -- Jose De Leon


23. Sacramento Kings
2017-18 record: 23-48

The Kings, who had already defeated the Warriors in Oakland on Nov. 27, beat the Warriors on Friday and did something that no other team has accomplished since Steve Kerr became coach of Golden State in 2014-15: win multiple games within a single regular season at Oracle Arena. -- Matt Williams


24. Dallas Mavericks
2017-18 record: 22-48

Dirk Nowitzki hit another milestone on Saturday by playing in his 1,463rd career game, breaking a tie with Kevin Garnett for the fifth-most in NBA history. The only players with more career NBA games are Robert Parish, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Stockton and Karl Malone. -- Michael Schwartz


25. Brooklyn Nets
2017-18 record: 22-48

On Tuesday against the Raptors, D'Angelo Russell scored 24 points in the opening quarter, tied for the second-most in a quarter by a Nets player over the past 20 seasons. Russell became the second player with seven 3-pointers in the first seven minutes of a game in the past 20 seasons (Kevin Love on Nov. 23, 2016, against the Blazers). -- Jose De Leon


26. New York Knicks
2017-18 record: 25-45

The Knicks have gotten back into the tank race by losing nine in a row and 17 of 18 before beating the Hornets on Saturday. Now New York hosts a "critical" matchup on Monday against the Bulls, who have one fewer win than the Knicks. -- Michael Schwartz


27. Orlando Magic
2017-18 record: 21-49

Jonathon Simmons scored a career-high 35 points to lead the Magic to an upset win over the Bucks on Wednesday. Simmons hit seven 3-pointers in the win, eclipsing his career high by three. -- Michael Schwartz


28. Atlanta Hawks
2017-18 record: 20-50

The Hawks reached 50 losses in a season for the first time since 2006-07 and just started a season-long six-game road trip on Saturday, losing to the Bucks. Despite the struggles this season, one bright spot, especially as of late, has been Taurean Prince. Prince scored 38 points on Saturday, matching his career-high from earlier this month. Prince is the first Hawks player with multiple 35-point games in a season since Joe Johnson in 2010-11. -- Matt Williams


29. Memphis Grizzlies
2017-18 record: 19-50

The streak is finally over! After failing to win in 19 straight games, the Grizzlies defeated the Nuggets on Saturday. The losing streak was tied for the second-longest in franchise history -- the Grizzlies lost 23 consecutive games during the 1995-96 season when the franchise was in Vancouver. -- Matt Williams


30. Phoenix Suns
2017-18 record: 19-52

The Suns have lost 23 of their past 25 games to secure the league's worst record entering Monday, but Josh Jackson is showing why the Suns made him the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 draft. Since Jan. 1, Jackson ranks third in scoring (16.0) among rookies, behind only Donovan Mitchell and Dennis Smith Jr. That's after Jackson scored a career-high 36 points Saturday against the Warriors, his first career 30-point game. -- Michael Schwartz