Knicks

The Atlantic Division title has gone from preseason goal to late-season stepping stone.

The New York Knicks celebrated their first division title in nearly 20 years Tuesday, a goal they’ve discussed since training camp, then quickly turned their attention to their future plans:

-Earning the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

-Extending their 13-game winning streak.

-Beating Chicago for the first time this season.

-And then chasing, as J.R. Smith called it, ”that gold ball.”

The Knicks romped to their first Atlantic Division title since 1994, getting 36 points from Carmelo Anthony and beating the Washington Wizards 120-99 for their 13th straight victory.

”We took care of the division. Now it’s about making this run, finishing out the regular season strong and trying to making a push in the playoffs,” Anthony said.

Anthony put this one away with 21 points during the Knicks’ 37-point third quarter that gave them a 95-71 lead. The NBA’s scoring leader added eight rebounds and six assists while becoming the first Knick since newly elected Hall of Famer Bernard King with five straight 35-point games.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press