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NBA 2012 standings: Minnesota moving up in the Western Conference

With five wins in their last seven games, the Minnesota Timberwolves are quietly one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now. They currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference and in second place in the Northwest Division.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

While teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies get all the headlines in the Western Conference, few are playing better than the Minnesota Timberwolves right now. Minnesota has won five of their last seven games, after notching a statement 99-93 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night.

In that game, Kevin Love again proved that he is one of the most versatile players in the NBA, tallying 28 points to go along with 11 rebounds and seven assists. Point guard Alexey Shved added 12 points and 12 assists, while J.J. Barea added 18 points off the bench. Minnesota's victory snapped a 12-game win streak for Oklahoma City.

It also moved Minnesota to within seven games in the Western Conference's Northwest Division standings. The Timberwolves currently sit in second place in the division, and entering Saturday are a half game ahead of both Denver and Utah who are tied for third place. At 12-12 overall, Portland is in last place in the division.

In addition, Thursday night's win over Oklahoma City also put Minnesota into sixth place overall in the Western Conference. If the postseason started today, they would face third place Memphis in the first round.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.