The New York Knicks and the Oklahoma City Thunders both dropped a crucial home win in Game 5 of the NBA Play- offs round one. Both teams required just one more win to proceed into the next rounds of the playoffs but failed to.
This implies that the teams who were expected to run all the way to the play- offs, have now lost two successive games after taking the lead 3-0.
In New York JR Smith, who was suspended in Game 4 returned against the Boston Celtics in a packed Madison Square Garden., but failed to provide the firepower to help Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks to progress as the Boston Celtics won 92-86.
Five players got into double figures for the Celtics, led by Kevin Garnett, 16 points and 18 rebounds, and Jeff Green, 18 points, as they shot an incredible 50 percent from the 3- point range.
Anthony and Smith both struggled to shoot and combined for a woeful 11- from- 38 from the field as they notched just 36 points between them.
The Olympic gold medalist Anthony suffered a late injury scare but should be fine for Game 6 on Friday.
“Nobody said it was going to be easy but now it’s a series,” Knicks Coach Mike Woodson said. “We had the opportunity tonight to close it and we didn’t get it done.
“At the end of the day we still control our destiny and there’s a lot of basketball left to be played.”
The loss of Russell Westbrook looked like the only difference in Oklahoma City as they bid to make a return to the Finals. Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunders were frustrated by the Houston Rockets for the second successive time since his injury.
The Rockets took this one in Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Arena 107- 100. Kevin Durant had another big night with 36 points but his presence alone was not sufficient against a fired- up Houston side.
Former Thunder Star James Harden led the way with 31 points that included an incredible 7- from- 9 from 3- point range, while big man Omer Asik chipped in with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
“I tried to give it all I had, I slept all day so I’d have enough energy,” said Harden, who lost with the Thunder last season in the Finals against the Miami Heat. “It means a lot; it was win or go home.
“It was a gusty win for us and now we have the opportunity at home in game six and we’re going to try and take advantage of that.” Game 6 will be played in Houston on Friday.