- Associated Press - Friday, April 11, 2014

TORONTO (AP) - The Toronto Raptors clinched the Atlantic Division title on Friday night.

But just not the way they wanted.

Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points, Amar’e Stoudemire had a season-high 24 points and 11 rebounds and the New York Knicks kept their slim playoff hopes alive by beating the Raptors 108-100.

Victory would have given Toronto its second Atlantic crown and first since 2006-07.

Instead, the Raptors got that a few minutes after walking off the court when Atlanta beat Brooklyn 93-88.

Red T-shirts reading ‘Atlantic is ours’ were draped across chairs inside a muted Toronto locker room, with the Raptors upset that they hadn’t taken care of business themselves. Even so, they were happy.

“It’s sweet and sour,” Kyle Lowry said. “We’ll take division champs any day.”

Toronto’s unexpected title guarantees them home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs but the loss dropped them a game behind Chicago, which rallied to beat Detroit Friday, in the race for the third seed in the East.

“It felt great to win the division,” DeMar DeRozan said. “I don’t think anybody would have picked us to win it, so that’s definitely a great accomplishment. We’re still anxious, we still want more”

J.R. Smith had 15 points, Raymond Felton 12 and Iman Shumpert scored eight of his 11 in the fourth quarter as the Knicks won for the first time in three games.

Had the Knicks lost, they would have been eliminated from playoff contention.

With three games remaining, the Knicks will need help to clinch a postseason berth.

“We dug such a hole early that it’s been tough trying to dig out,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “We’ve got to hope that Atlanta loses the next three and we win three. That’s the only way we have a shot.”

New York hosts Chicago on Sunday, visits Brooklyn on Tuesday and finishes by hosting Toronto on Wednesday.

DeRozan scored 26 points and Lowry had 25 but the Raptors failed to match the franchise record for victories in a season (47) and disappointed a sellout crowd.

Story Continues →