Anthony’s Knicks clinch Atlantic division title
NEW YORK — The New York Knicks clinched their first Atlantic Division title since 1994 on Tuesday as they routed the Washington Wizards 120-99 with another scorching scoring display from Carmelo Anthony.
The red-hot Anthony finished with 36 points, eight rebounds and six assists, as the Knicks won their 13th straight game.
“It says a lot about our team,” said Anthony, who became the first Knicks player to post five straight games with 35 or more points since Bernard King in 1985. “We reached one of our goals. We are now going to try and prepare for the post-season.”
The NBA’s scoring leader heading into the contest, Anthony shot 13-of-21 from the floor and three-of-four from three-point range Tuesday at Madison Square Garden arena.
Iman Shumpert added 18 points on seven-of-10 shooting from the field, while J.R. Smith and Chris Copeland each came off the bench to score 17 points for the Knicks, who equalled a franchise record with 20 three-pointers.
John Wall led the Wizards with 33 points. Cartier Martin came off the bench to score 16 points for Washington who lost their third game in the last four and 10th straight at Madison Square Garden.
It marks the Knicks first Atlantic Division crown in 19 years when they eventually lost in the NBA finals to the Houston Rockets.
The Knicks started quickly Tuesday, nailing nine-of-12 from beyond the arc in the first quarter.
New York led by 13 points heading into the second quarter as Anthony, Shumpert, Copeland and Raymond Felton all had two three pointers.
Steve Novak stepped up in the second quarter by making three triples as the Knicks 12 first-half three-pointers matched their most of any half this season.
Anthony scored 21 of his 36 points in a third quarter in which the Knicks outscored Washington 37-28.
The Knicks went on an 11-4 run to open the third as the Knicks extended their lead and ended any hopes of a Wizards comeback.