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Ranking the NBA: James, Irving have Cavaliers rising

With records through Friday

1. Warriors (47-9, last week 1)

Golden State is favored to win its second championship in three seasons.

2. Spurs (43-13, LW 2)

Kawhi Leonard’s season is worthy of MVP consideration.

3. Cavaliers (39-16, LW 6)

Kevin Love’s injury puts more pressure on LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

4. Celtics (37-20, LW 3)

Isaiah Thomas is on pace to have one of the best seasons in Boston history.

5. Rockets (40-18, LW 4)

Houston’s 3-point shooting makes it a threat to upset Golden State in the playoffs.

6. Wizards (34-21, LW 7)

Bradley Beal might have been the biggest All-Star snub.

7. Clippers (35-21, LW 10)

Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have led the Clippers to four straight wins.

8. Jazz (35-22, LW 5)

Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert give Utah two dependable stars.

9. Grizzlies (34-24, LW 8)

Memphis proves it’s possible to win on the shoulders of two traditional big men.

10. Thunder (32-25, LW 9)

Russell Westbrook needs more help if OKC is to be a threat in the postseason.

11. Raptors (33-24, LW 11)

Trading for Serge Ibaka could help Toronto re-establish its place among the East’s elite.

12. Hawks (32-24, LW 12)

Paul Millsap is the only All-Star still on the team after Atlanta had four two years ago.

13. Heat (25-32, LW 15)

One of the NBA’s hottest teams for more than a month.

14. Bulls (28-29, LW 16)

Who among Chicago’s younger players can break out and consistently contribute?

15. Nuggets (25-31, LW 14)

Trading for Mason Plumlee shows Denver is not content.

16. Pistons (25-29, LW 17)

Trade rumors about guard Reggie Jackson persist.

17. Kings (24-33, LW 20)

DeMarcus Cousins and Darren Collison are playing their best.

18. Pacers (29-28, LW 13)

Indiana limped to the All-Star break with six straight losses.

19. Pelicans (23-34, LW 23)

Coach Alvin Gentry is working to improve the offense.

20. Mavericks (22-34, LW 18)

Could Seth Curry be a key to Dallas’ future?

21. Trail Blazers (23-33, LW 19)

The dynamic backcourt hasn’t been enough to shake Portland out of its funk.

22. Bucks (25-30, LW 25)

Milwaukee might be back on track after three straight wins.

23. Knicks (23-34, LW 22)

It seems Carmelo Anthony will still be a Knick after Thursday’s trade deadline.

24. Hornets (24-32, LW 21)

Charlotte has dropped nine of 10.

25. 76ers (21-35, LW 24)

Jahlil Okafor trade rumors might cease with Joel Embiid’s knee injury.

26. Timberwolves (22-35, LW 27)

Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns have to do more with Zach LaVine out for the season.

27. Magic (21-37, LW 26)

Trading Ibaka signals a bigger commitment to Aaron Gordon.

28. Suns (18-39, LW 29)

Rookie Marquese Chriss from Pleasant Grove High has shown promise for the young Suns.

29. Lakers (19-39, LW 28)

Team is still searching for its next star among a young nucleus.

30. Nets (9-47, LW 30)

Brooklyn’s losing streak is now 14 games.

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