An NBA record was broken on Thursday night, and it’s not the kind that the new holder will be proud of. The New York Knicks fell to the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden, 87-70 and, in the process, became the first NBA team to lose 13 consecutive playoff games.
The last time the Knicks won a playoff game was April 29th, 2001, when they defeated the Toronto Raptors in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series, 97-89. In that game, Allan Houston led the way with 24 points, while Latrell Sprewell scored 20 and Charlie Ward added 18 off the bench.
But in Game 4, the Raptors staved off elimination with 100-93 victory, led by Vince Carter’s 32 points and former Knick Chris Childs’ 25. In Game 5, at Madison Square Garden, Carter’s 27 points led five Raptors in double figures as Toronto completed the mild upset.
That series loss marked the first time since the 1990-91 season that the Knicks did not win at least one playoff series, having captured two Eastern Conference championships in that span (1994 and 1999), as well as notching two losses in the conference finals in 1993 and 2000.
The Knicks would not qualify for the playoffs in 2002 and 2003, but in 2004, their 39-43 record was good enough to lock down the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. However, they were promptly swept by their local rivals, the New Jersey Nets, who were the two-time defending conference champions.
Six consecutive seasons would pass without a playoff berth, but last year, the Knicks finally broke through with a 42-40 record, drawing their bitter rivals, the Boston Celtics, in a 3-6 matchup. After losing two excruciating games in Boston — falling on a late three-pointer by Ray Allen in Game 1 and wasting a 42-point, 17-rebound game from Carmelo Anthony in a 96-93 Game 2 loss — the Celtics cruised past the Knicks in New York, as injuries to Chauncey Billups and Amar’e Stoudemire were too much to overcome.
After a surreal 2012 season, which saw Linsanity, the departure of Mike D’Antoni, and the resurgence under Mike Woodson, the Knicks qualified for the playoffs, this time finishing as the seventh seed with a 36-30 record. They landed in a first-round matchup with the Miami Heat, and the bad times continued. A Game 1 rout was lowlighted by Iman Shumpert’s ACL tear, and the insult of a Game 2 loss was further aggravated by Stoudemire’s punching of the glass encasing a fire extinguisher, lacerating his hand and forcing him to miss Game 3.
The totals? Since their last playoff win, the Knicks were 0-2 in 2001, 0-4 in 2004, and 0-4 in 2011. So far, they are 0-3 in 2012, with Miami looking primed to sweep the Knicks out of the playoffs on Sunday afternoon, when the two teams will play Game 4 of their series at 3:30 P.M. Eastern.
What do you think? Can the Knicks salvage one game in the series and end this dubious streak? Chime in below!