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Denver Nuggets rise to the top of the CBS Sports NBA Power Rankings

After "three incredibly impressive wins" the Denver Nuggets have jumped up several places in the CBS Sports NBA Power Rankings and now sit at the top of the hill. Their No. 1 ranking marks the first time they've been in the highest position in the rankings in several years. 

It also shows how much of a difference it makes when your stars are healthy, Jamal Murray in particular. Murray scored 34 points on Monday night's win over the Lakers, which was his season high.

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets
Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets plays the Los Angeles Lakers in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena on Jan. 9, 2023.   Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

The rankings are very close at the top, though. Colin Ward-Henninger of writes that the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies are also "separating themselves in the standings." The Celtics currently have the No. 2 spot and Memphis is No. 3.

Defending two-time MVP Nikola Jokic is of course a big reason why the Nuggets are at the top of the Western Conference. He averaged 21 points, 14.7 rebounds and 11.7 assists in the past week.

"Denver won all three games this week, and none was particularly close," Ward-Henninger wrote, referring to the 121-108 thrashing of the Cavaliers on Jan. 6, the win against L.A. and Wednesday's 126-97 victory over the Suns. "The offense is clicking, putting up 125.5 points per 100 possessions, with the defense allowing just 107.2 -- it doesn't take a statistician to see that's a pretty solid formula for success."

CBS Sports also notes the recent strong performance by backup guard Bones Hyland, who has "caught fire" and is averaging 15.3 points per game.

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