Even without star guard Russell Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder were largely expected to breeze past the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of their first-round series.
Oh, how wrong we were!
Led by a team-high 31 points from James Harden and some clutch free-throw shooting from Omer Asik, the Rockets stunned the Thunder to win their second consecutive game of the series and head back to Houston, full of confidence that they can knock off the Western Conference's No. 1 seed.
The Rockets led by seven at halftime and soon extended that lead to double figures heading into the fourth quarter. And whilst Oklahoma City stepped up its defensive intensity in the final few minutes, it was unable to make it count at the other end and finished with an embarrassing home defeat.
Kevin Durant was the top scorer for the Thunder with 36 points and seven assists.
Oklahoma City was leading the series 3-0 before squandering a chance to clinch the series earlier this week in Houston. Now, the Thunder have to travel back there to take on a Rockets team that's won two in a row and is full of momentum and self-belief that their postseason isn't over just yet.
Game 6 is scheduled for Friday, May 3, 2013.
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