Houston, Minnesota and Oklahoma City were the three Western Conference teams that loaded up for runs at Golden State in the summer.

So far, so good for the Rockets and Timberwolves.

"They're good. Both of those teams are really good," Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said.

So is Boston, which also made big changes over the summer and is an NBA-best 9-2 with nine straight victories despite losing Gordon Hayward for the season in its opener.

The Thunder are going to need a little longer.

The Rockets (8-3) are tied with the Warriors atop the West, with the Wolves (7-3) just a half-game back and riding their first five-game winning streak since early 2009 into their game at Golden State on Wednesday night.

Way down toward the bottom of the West standings were the Thunder, who are just 4-6 with three straight losses after falling 94-86 in Sacramento on Tuesday.

Even though they've barely had Chris Paul on the floor, the Rockets' other acquisitions, including Luc Mbah a Moute and PJ Tucker, have given them more versatile players who can defend multiple positions. And James Harden is perhaps the NBA's most dangerous offensive player, ranking in the top three in scoring and assists.

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