NBA standings 2012: Nuggets trying to move up in crowded division, conference standings

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Denver remains in the mix for a playoff spot as the top Western Conference teams begin to separate themselves.

The Denver Nuggets need to keep winning like they did in Indiana on Friday night to keep pace among a crowded field of teams vying for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Nuggets are tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Northwest Division, now six games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder and just a half game behind the Utah Jazz in the division. The Portland Trail Blazers are close behind the Nuggets and Wolves, 7.5 games behind first-place Oklahoma City.

The Memphis Grizzlies lead the Western Conference standings with the Thunder and San Antonio Spurs close in tow as the three elite teams run ahead of the pack. The Los Angeles Clippers are next in line trailing by three games.

The Nuggets are one of five teams currently battling for the final two playoff spots in the West. Denver, Minnesota and Houston are all tied with .500 records while the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers are just one game behind.

In the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks have emerged at the top of the conference after beating the Miami Heat on Thursday. The Heat lost two straight to fall two games behind New York, while Atlanta moved up to third place after winning eight of its last nine games.

Here's a look at the full NBA standings.

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