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On the upswing

Even the NBA's best teams aren't immune to a bad week. The top three clubs in last week's Power Rankings (Boston, San Antonio and Detroit) each lost two games. Meanwhile, the Lakers and Mavs managed to go unscathed as the Western Conference race continues to get more intriguing by the day.

The Mavs, in particular, seem to be regaining some of their swagger after a lackluster start (at least for them) to the season. Led by reigning MVP Dirk Nowitzki, who has picked up his play of late, they had won seven straight through Sunday to tie Phoenix for the West's best record (26-11). Facing a relatively soft schedule this week, Dallas should be able to stay hot and build on the momentum.

This week's high riser: Mavs (No. 2 from 6) and Bobcats (No. 24 from 28) This week's big drop: Spurs (No. 6 from 2) and Magic (No. 17 from 13)

More Rankings: 11-20

More Rankings: 21-30