Week 14 was full of action and Sunday’s games capped off an exciting week with: the Los Angeles Lakers coming back from a 25-point deficit on the road against the Trail Blazers to win, the OKC Thunder winning another game thanks to a game winner from SGA and we saw Kyrie Irving get buckets on the Warriors in their building. The Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies have continued to rack up wins to stay atop their respective conferences. The 76ers just went 5-0 on their road trip and are now in second place in the East while the Sacramento Kings have gone 7-3 in their last ten and are now surprisingly sitting in third place in the wild Western conference but will that land them on this week’s rankings?
These are my power rankings based on games played through 1/22/2023.
- Boston Celtics (35-12)
The Celtics are sitting on a nine-game win streak and are back in the number 1 spot. This past week they saw Jaylen Brown return to the line-up while picking up impressive wins against the Warriors in a finals rematch and then going on the road to Toronto and securing a win without their number one option, Jayson Tatum. Boston seems to have found their shooting stroke again and the offense is looking as potent as it did at the start of the season. Over this win streak the team has been ranked number one defensively as well.
- Denver Nuggets (33-14)
If the Nuggets had won Sunday night over the OKC Thunder, they would have remained number one. It was impressive to see them win without Jokic being in the lineup against the Indiana Pacers, where we saw Jamal Murray notch his first career triple double. They were riding a 16-game win streak in games played at home before the loss to OKC and this week is all road games where on the year they’ve gone one game over 500 with an 11-10 road record.
- Philadelphia 76ers (30-16)
Philadelphia is starting to look like the contender that they were thought to be before the start of the season. Trending towards being a top offensive and defensive team, Philly wrapped up their road trip with a perfect 5-0 record with big wins over the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers. Then they took down the Sacramento Kings without Joel Embiid and James Harden playing. Looking forward to their two games this week as we’ll see the return of Ben Simmons to Philadelphia and then they will host the Nuggets and hopefully we’ll see the two bigs (Embiid and Jokic) have an epic battle.
- Memphis Grizzlies (31-15)
Memphis had an eleven-game win streak going before they hit the road for a five-game road trip and started 0-2, with losses to the Lakers and Suns. The team still currently ranks as the best defensive team in the league but the offense sputtered these last two games as they were up double digits against the Lakers and then against Phoenix, they shot under 50% from the field as a team. They will need to fix those woes as they face the Kings, Warriors and Timberwolves (all at least five games over 500 at home) to end their road trip before returning home to face the Pacers.
- Sacramento Kings (29-16)
Having won six of their last seven games, the Kings now sit in third place in the Western Conference. For the month of January, the team has the league’s best offense. The lefty duo of De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis have the team rolling and will likely end the 17-year playoff drought. The Kings are the real deal but will need to pick it up defensively as they are rated 25th.
Next in line: Milwaukee Bucks (29-17)
Some of the top performances this week include:
- Jayson Tatum scorched the Charlotte Hornets for 51 points and led the Boston Celtics to a 130-118 road victory.
- LeBron James scored a season-high 48 points and the Los Angeles Lakers won against the Houston Rockets 140-132.
- Stephen Curry scored 41 points and the Golden State Warriors went into Washington D.C. to beat the Wizards 127-118.
- Fred VanVleet led the Toronto Raptors to a 123-121 overtime victory against the New York Knicks.
- Jrue Holiday scored a season high 37 points which helped lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 130-122 home win against the Toronto Raptors.
- Nikola Jokic secured his 13th triple double of the season with 36 points,12 rebounds and 10 assists and the Denver Nuggets went on to win 122-113 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
- Joel Embiid scored 41 points which led the Philadelphia 76ers to a 120-110 road win against the Los Angeles Clippers.
- The Washington Wizards go into Madison Square Garden and win on the road against the Knicks. Kyle Kuzma led the Wizards with 27 points.
- Lauri Markkanen had 34 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Utah Jazz toa 126-103 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers.
- Nikola Jokic gets another triple double (14th of the season) and the Denver Nuggets squeak past the Minnesota Timberwolves 122-118.
- De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings scored 31 points and the Kings went on to win 116-111 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
- In the NBA Paris game, Zach Lavine led all scorers with 30 points and led the Chicago Bulls to a 126-108 win against the Detroit Pistons.
- Jayson Tatum struggled from the field but still managed to score 34 points and led the Boston Celtics to a 121-118 overtime win against the Golden State Warriors in the finals rematch.
- D’Angelo Russell’s 25 points helped the Minnesota Timberwolves edge past the Toronto Raptors 128-126.
- Dejounte Murray led the Atlanta Hawks with 29 points en route to the 139-124 win against the New York Knicks.
- Luka Doncic had 34 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Dallas Mavericks to an easy 115-90 win against the Miami Heat.
- Russell Westbrook’s 29 points and LeBron James 23 points helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a comeback win against the Memphis Grizzlies. Final score 122-121.
- The rookie Keegan Murray of the Sacramento Kings had season highs of 29 points and 14 rebounds in the home victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Final score 118-113.
- The Boston Celtics travel to Canada and defeat the Toronto Raptors 106-104 thanks to a career high 25 points from forward Grant Williams.
- The Washington Wizards blew out the Orlando Magic 138-118 with Rui Hachimura leading the way with 30 points.
- Anthony Edwards scored a season high 44 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Houston Rockets 113-104 at home.
- Tyrese Maxey tallied 32 points and the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Sacramento Kings 129-127.
- Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points and 9 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers secure the win against the Dallas Mavericks 112-98.
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit the game winner to go along with 34 points and snapped the Denver Nuggets 9 game win streak. Final score 101-99.
- Kyrie Irving shined bright with 38 points and led the Brooklyn Nets to a 120-116 win on the road against the Golden State Warriors.
- LeBron James had 37 points and 11 rebounds in a comeback road win against the Portland Trail Blazers 121-112.