Carmelo Anthony continued his scorching play of late with 36 points, eight rebounds and six assists, as the New York Knicks won their 13th straight contest with a 120-99 rout of the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Anthony, who entered the action 0.09 points per game ahead of Kevin Durant for the lead in the NBA scoring race, shot 13-of-21 from the floor and 3-of-4 from behind the arc as the Knicks clinched their first Atlantic Division title since the 1993-94 season. New York currently finds itself in second place in the East, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Pacers.
"The second seed is still out there," said coach Mike Woodson. "It's something that's right in front of us to take. And we just gotta figure out how to go get it."
Iman Shumpert added 18 points on 7-of-10 from the field, while J.R. Smith and Chris Copeland each netted 17 off the bench.
The Knicks matched a franchise record with 20 makes from 3-point range.
John Wall paced the Wizards with 33 points in the loss. Cartier Martin contributed 16 points off the bench as Washington dropped its third game in four tries.
The Knicks got off to a terrific start, hitting 9-of-12 from downtown in the opening period. Anthony, Shumpert, Copeland and Raymond Felton made two treys apiece as New York led 36-23 after 12 minutes.
Steve Novak added to the Knicks' 3-point barrage in the second stanza, making three triples. New York's 12 first-half 3-pointers matched its most for any half this season.
Anthony went for 21 of his 36 points in the third quarter, in which the Knicks outscored Washington by a 37-28 margin. Shumpert keyed an 11-4 run to open the period, and the Knicks shot 70 percent as a team for the frame to end any hopes of a Washington comeback.
"When you got a guy like Melo who is on a tear like this, it opens up for everybody else," claimed Shumpert. "Once we all start making shots, the ball gets back to Melo and its really a problem for you."
The Wizards lost their 10th straight game at Madison Square Garden.
Anthony became the first Knicks player with five straight games with 35 or more points since Bernard King in the 1984-85 season ... New York's Kenyon Martin was carted off the court in the fourth quarter with an apparent ankle injury ... Felton went for 10 points and eight assists ... Washington outscored New York in the paint, 38-34.