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NBA standings 2012: Rockets continue their climb in the Western Conference race

The Houston Rockets had a minor setback after losing to San Antonio but remain on the move in the Western Conference standings.

Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets took a step back on Friday as they continue fighting to climb up the Western Conference standings. After winning seven of eight games, including five in a row, the Rockets lost a shootout with the San Antonio Spurs to halt their win streak.

The recent good play has pushed the Rockets up to sixth place in the West with last night's win leaving them just percentage points ahead of the Denver Nuggets as both teams trail the Los Angeles Clippers by 7.5 games.

The Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves make up a trio of teams battling for the eighth spot in the West, now nine games behind the top spot. The Lakers are suddenly rolling after winning six of their last seven games.

The Clippers made their way to the top of the conference standings thanks to a 16-game winning streak which continued after the Clips rallied to beat the Utah Jazz 116-114 on Friday night. The Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs trail close behind in second and third place, respectively. Despite all of the winning by the Clippers, the Thunder are still just one game behind while the Spurs trail by 1.5 games.

The Memphis Grizzlies have stumbled a bit of late, going 5-5 in their last ten games to drop behind the top teams by four games with a percentage points lead over fifth place Golden State.

The Miami Heat lead the Eastern Conference by a half-game over the New York Knicks. Other teams near the top in the East include the Atlanta Hawks, who have quietly moved within two games of the leaders. The Indiana Pacers are just four games behind the leaders after moving to the top of the Central Division with four-consecutive wins.

Here is a look at the full NBA standings.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.