New York (AFP) - DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points as the Toronto Raptors clinched at least the third playoff seed in the NBA's Eastern Conference with a 110-97 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday.
DeRozan extended his own team record with his 32nd game this season with at least 30 points. He also joined Vince Carter as the second Raptor to reach 2,000 points in a season.
DeRozan connected on 11 of his 15 shots from the field and also made 13 of 15 free throws in made 11 of 15 shots on his typical combination of mid-range jumpers and drives to the rim. He also hit 13 of 15 free throws in just under 30 minutes n the floor.
Kyle Lowry added 17 points and 11 assists in his third game back after missing 21 with a right wrist injury.
The Raptors took the lead for good at 76-75 on DeRozan's layup with 25 seconds remaining in the third. Toronto build their lead early in the fourth, and sealed the game with a 10-0 scoring run that stretched their lead to 98-82 with 5:36 to play.
The Raptors could still be seeded as high as second in the East, but only if they beat the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers in their regular-season finale and the Boston Celtics lose their last two games.