- [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
- [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]The Knicks hadn’t won an Atlantic division title in almost two decades, since Carmelo Anthony was just 10 years old. They changed all that after Tuesday night’s thorough 120-99 thrashing of the Wizards, a rout that mirrored this division race: No drama, no contest.Anthony scored a game-high 36 points and the Knicks tied a club-record with 20 3-pointers to run their winning streak to 13 games and claim their first division crown since 1994. But they haven’t taken their eyes off the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, or even that elusive NBA title — something that seems further away with every injured big man that goes down.
Anthony J CausiCarmelo Anthony
The only negative was Kenyon Martin coming down on Chris Singleton’s foot, spraining his left ankle with 10:28 left.
X-rays were negative.
“We’ve got a long way to go still. We’re playing for something,’’ coach Mike Woodson said. “We’re still trying to fight for that second seed. It could come down to that game on Sunday against Indiana. We’ve just got to continue to handle our business prior to getting to that game on Sunday.
“All we were thinking about was hosting the first round at home, and we would be able to do that but it’s OK to go after the No. 2 seed because that assures us the second round as well at home.”
The Knicks (51-26) lead Indiana for the second seed in the East by 2 ½ games, with five games to play on their schedule. The Pacers (48-29) won the season series and own the tiebreaker, but the Knicks’ torrid form has set them up well to grab that elusive second seed.
This will mark the sixth time the Knicks have finished atop the division, winning five titles outright and losing out via tiebreaker in 1991-92. And last night they did it with an all-around complete effort.
They put six scorers in double figures, including 18 from Iman Shumpert and 10 points and eight assists from point guard Raymond Felton. They shot a scalding 9-of-12 from 3-point range in the first quarter, and went 20-of-36 for the night.
The Knicks led by as much as 71-49 in the third quarter before taking their foot off the proverbial gas and going into cruise control the rest of the way.