Wizards-Knicks Preview

Behind Carmelo Anthony, the red-hot New York Knicks are riding their longest win streak since 1993-94.

Now he can help the franchise accomplish something else it hasn't done since that season.

Anthony's Knicks can clinch the club's first Atlantic Division title in 19 years Tuesday night when they try to extend their 12-game run and defeat the Washington Wizards for the 10th straight meeting at home.

New York (50-26) is enjoying its longest win streak since taking 15 straight from March 1-April 2, 1994. That club won 57 games and a third straight division title.

Now the Knicks can finally add another Atlantic crown with a victory over Washington (29-48) or a loss by Brooklyn to Philadelphia on Tuesday.

"It's the end of the season, the last month. Everybody's fighting for spots. The playoffs are right around the corner,'' Anthony said. "This is the best basketball."

New York also leads Central Division champion Indiana by 2 1/2 games in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks are back home after one of their most impressive victories of the season, 125-120 at reigning West champion Oklahoma City on Sunday.

"This is probably one of the biggest wins we've had in a long time,'' Anthony said. "Just for the simple fact that it's on the road, it's against a great Thunder team. We've been playing well."

Anthony's streak of 40-point efforts ended at three as he scored 36 to go with 12 rebounds. His 41.8 average over four games was more than good enough to earn him conference player of the week honors, and he has moved ahead of Thunder star Kevin Durant by percentage points as the league's top scorer at 28.4 points per contest.

J.R. Smith has averaged 23.8 points on 49.2 percent shooting in this run. He's the NBA's leading scorer off the bench with 17.8 points per game.

"It's all coming together at the right time so it's good for us," Smith said.

New York's nine-game run at home versus Washington is its longest current such streak against any team. The victory margin in the last six games has been by an average of 20.3 points.

Anthony has averaged 27.0 points and Raymond Felton 17.0 to help the Knicks win two of three against the Wizards this season.

John Wall has averaged 18.5 points and 7.5 assists in two matchups. The Knicks won't have to worry about Wizards rookie Bradley Beal, who averaged 21.5 points in two games against them but is out for the season with a right leg injury.

Washington dropped its fifth straight road game, 107-96 to Boston on Sunday. Wall had 16 points and 10 assists one night after he scored 37 in a 104-85 home win over the Pacers.

The Wizards shot 44.3 percent against the Celtics. They are last in the NBA in that department in road games at 41.4.

"We play a team like this and when you're not playing great defensively you have got to be able to make shots,'' Wall said, "and we had a tough night."

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