Knicks win 1st Atlantic division title since 1994

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 10, 2013 at 2:33 am •  Published: April 10, 2013
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"There's no reason not to have a smile on your face at this moment," Anthony said. "We accomplished one of our goals that we set before the season in training camp, so it's a stepping stone for us."

The Knicks played without center Tyson Chandler (bulging disk), then lost replacement Kenyon Martin to an ankle injury after he'd missed the previous two games with a sore left knee.

It was a blowout by then, though with so many injuries in the frontcourt they were obviously concerned when Martin went down after grabbing a defensive rebound, pounding the floor in anger. The team said he had a sprained left ankle and that X-rays were negative.

John Wall scored 33 points for the Wizards, who gave the Knicks way too much shooting space on the perimeter and lost their 10th in a row at Madison Square Garden.

Anthony stayed right on the blistering pace that won him Eastern Conference player of the week honors after averaging 41.8 points while inching ahead of Kevin Durant for the NBA scoring lead last week. He sat out the fourth quarter after going 13 of 21 from the field.

"We know he's hot and we tried to get the ball out of his hands, but he's very efficient and can score in various ways," Wall said. "Hats off to him."

The Knicks made 10 of their first 14 3-point attempts and finished 20 of 36 (55.6 percent) while remaining 2 ½ games ahead of Indiana for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Chandler, who recently missed 10 games, told Woodson he felt soreness after Sunday's victory at Oklahoma City. It left the Knicks, already missing veteran big men Rasheed Wallace, Amare Stoudemire, Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas, undersized against the Wizards' front line that includes Nene and Emeka Okafor.

But the Knicks spread the ball around the perimeter and the Wizards couldn't get close to them. New York was 9 of 12 on 3-pointers in the first quarter, with Copeland hitting one at the buzzer to make it 36-23.

"They shot the ball extremely well," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "They hit 20 3s, they spread the floor and they have guys that can take you off the dribble. When they're shooting like that, they're a tough team to beat."

The Knicks slowed down in the second and Washington was within seven late in the period, but New York scored seven points in the final 50.3 seconds, with Raymond Felton stealing the ball from Wall and laying it in with 1.3 seconds left to make it 58-43.

Notes: The NBA announced Tuesday that Anthony tops its jersey sales list, based on sales at the NBA Store in New York and on nbastore.com since November. He became the first Knicks player to top the list since it began in 2001-02. The Knicks also topped the team merchandise sales list. ... Wallace, out since December and recovering from a broken bone in his foot, started shooting Tuesday and the Knicks still hope he can return for the playoffs. ... The Wizards played without Trevor Ariza, bothered by knee and ankle pain. Trevor Booker played despite a sore lower back.

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