New York Knicks' J.R. Smith (8) defends Washington Wizards' Roger Mason (8) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, April 13, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Baron Davis scored a season-high 18 points on his 33rd birthday, JR Smith had 23, and the New York Knicks surged into a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference by routing the Washington Wizards 103-65 on Friday night.
Carmelo Anthony and Steve Novak also had 18 for the Knicks, who could now be looking at a playoff preview when they host second-place Miami on Sunday. The Knicks tied Philadelphia after the 76ers lost earlier Friday to New Jersey, and New York holds the tiebreaker for the No. 7 seed.
Anthony was well off his NBA-leading average of 32.4 points through his first five games in April. But he only played 29 minutes as the Knicks narrowly missed their second 40-point victory under interim coach Mike Woodson.
Davis shot 7 of 9 in just 23 minutes for the Knicks, who won for the fifth time in six games and improved to 14-4 under Woodson, who started with a 42-point victory over Portland on March 14.
Jordan Crawford scored 17 points for the Wizards, who were trying to win three straight for the first time in their miserable season. But they never led in their ninth consecutive loss to the Knicks.
Washington had only 47 points after three quarters and was stuck there for a while in the fourth as fans chanted "forty-seven!" John Wall shot 2 of 12 and finished with eight points.
New York solidified its hold on eighth place with a victory in Milwaukee on Wednesday, but quickly showed it isn't looking to settle for the lowest seed.
The Knicks led 26-13 after one quarter. They closed the first half with an 18-5 burst to take a 54-33 lead after Washington had closed within eight, and gave everyone plenty of rest before the early start Sunday.
The only bad news in the Knicks' ninth straight home victory was Iman Shumpert leaving with a sprained right ankle after 23 minutes.