The misery continues
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New York @ Toronto
105 - 107
Record: 32-48
Eddy Curry scored 30 points and had 8 rebounds (AP Photo)
Eddy Curry scored 30 points and had 8 rebounds (AP Photo)
TORONTO (AP) - The Toronto Raptors set three goals before the season: make the playoffs, win the Atlantic Division and get home-court advantage in the first round.

Chris Bosh and company went 3-for-3.

Bosh scored 23 points and the Raptors earned the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 107-105 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday night.

Toronto matched its franchise record of 47 wins, accomplished in 2000-01. They clinched their first Atlantic title last month and are going to the playoffs for the first time in five years.

"This will go down as one of the best seasons in Raptor history," Bosh said. "We have to make sure we have the best postseason. We have to get ready to kick it off at home."

Toronto will likely host New Jersey or Washington in Games 1 and 2. Orlando is a remote possibility.

Bosh said it will be a great story if they play former Raptors star Vince Carter and the Nets.

"That will be something," Bosh said with a laugh. "I'm sure the fans would love to see Vince for the first game."

Carter demanded out of Toronto two and half years ago.

Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said homecourt is key.

"If it comes down to the seventh game and you get it on your homecourt, that's huge," Mitchell said.

Anthony Parker and Joey Graham each added 19 points for the Raptors, who won their season-high sixth straight game. .

Eddy Curry had 30 points and Steve Francis had 28 for the Knicks, who were eliminated from the playoffs last Friday. New York has lost four straight and 12 of the 14.

The Knicks are 3-14 since coach Isiah Thomas received a contract extension.

"Right now we just don't have the weapons, but the effort was there," Thomas said.

Bosh, a first-time All-Star starter this season, also had eight rebounds and seven assists.

Jose Calderon and T.J. Ford, Toronto's two point guards, combined for 26 points and 10 assists. Calderon had 18 points and six assists.

Francis said the Raptors could go far.

"They are a good young team, and their coach is doing a good job with the talent that he has," Francis said. "They are playing together, and there is not really one guy that is dominating the basketball. They have a good chance of doing something special in the playoffs."

After Malik Rose cut Toronto's lead to one with two free throws with 1:06 left, Bosh made a fadeaway jumper to make it 102-99 with 45.8 seconds remaining.

Francis missed a 3-pointer, but made two free throws with 10.4 seconds to cut the lead to one.

Bosh's two free throws with 8.6 seconds remaining made it 104-101, but Francis' tip in cut it to one with 3.4 seconds left.

Graham converted a three-point play with 2.2 seconds left to seal the victory.

"Toronto is a tough team I think we gave a valiant effort out there, but in the end we weren't strong enough," Curry said.

Toronto won despite being outrebounded 38-26.

The Raptors are on their longest winning streak since a nine-game run from March 22-April 9, 2002.

Thomas said Mitchell deserves most of the credit for turning around the Raptors. ... Thomas still thinks New Jersey is the team to beat in the Atlantic because of their trio of Jason Kidd , Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson . ... In first comments since breaking his ankle last month, Toronto's Jose Garbajosa said he's not even thinking about playing. He's expected to be miss months. ... New York's Stephon Marbury missed his fifth game with a toe injury.

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