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NBA standings 2013: Minnesota looking up in the Northwest

The Timberwolves moved above the .500 barrier with a win Friday night, but they still have a lot of work to do to catch the Thunder.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves are now a game over .500 after beating the Denver Nuggets, 101-97, Friday night and at 15-14 sit only a half-game behind the Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers in the Northwest Division.

Still, the fourth-place T-Wolves are 8.5 games behind the first-place Oklahoma City Thunder (25-7), who hold an eight-game lead over the Blazers (17-15) and Nuggets (18-16), each tied for second place. With the last-place Utah Jazz (17-17) only nine games back of first, the Thunder are the outlier in an otherwise tight and competitive division.

If the playoffs began today, the Timberwolves would be the first team out while the seventh- and eighth-seeds would go to the Blazers and Nuggets, respectively. The Thunder own the Western Conference's best record, ahead of the Pacific Division leading Los Angeles Clippers (26-8) and Southwest Division leading San Antonio Spurs (26-9).

The T-Wolves have a chance to make up some more ground in the division Saturday when they host the Trail Blazers.

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