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Toronto at New York

Venue: Madison Square Garden
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The Toronto Raptors head into the final day of the regular season as Atlantic Division champions after setting a franchise record for wins.

They're aiming for more - particularly in the playoffs.

The Raptors can secure the third seed in the Eastern Conference with a victory Wednesday night against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Toronto (48-33) is headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08, the season after the Raptors won their only previous division title. They added another accomplishment Monday, beating Milwaukee 110-100 to set a team record for victories.

"We can't just be happy," guard Greivis Vasquez said. "We've got to continue to get better and make a run in the playoffs."

Tied for third in the conference with Chicago but with the edge due to its division title, Toronto can clinch the spot with a win or a Bulls loss at playoff-bound Charlotte.

Despite the Raptors winning six of seven in April and averaging 108.9 points, coach Dwane Casey feels improvement is needed for the postseason.

"I know it's ringing hollow but we still have to continue to work to get better," Casey said. "We're not where we need to be defensively or offensively for the playoffs."

Casey could be alluding to Friday's 108-100 defeat to the Knicks (36-45) as the Raptors shot 39.5 percent from the floor.

DeMar DeRozan, who was rested Monday, scored a team-high 26 points in that meeting despite missing 12 of 18 from the field. The All-Star guard was much more efficient at MSG on Dec. 27, hitting 7 of 13 field goals while totaling 25 points in a 95-83 victory.

Toronto only needed 20 from DeRozan to complete a sweep of the home-and-home set with a 115-100 win a day later.

If DeRozan is given the night off again, Vasquez could be back in the lineup after scoring 25 points against the Bucks. He's averaged 7.0 points and shot 28.6 percent in three games against the Knicks this season.

Kyle Lowry is averaging 26.5 points over the past four games after missing three with a sore knee. He's totaled 57 points over the past two against the Knicks, shooting 56.7 percent and hitting 8 of 14 from beyond the arc.

While the Raptors are looking to make a deep run in the playoffs, the Knicks' run of three straight postseasons is over. However, they've won six of their last eight, including five victories against playoff teams.

New York beat Brooklyn for the second time in that stretch Tuesday, winning 109-98 despite Carmelo Anthony missing the first of two games with a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

The recent success has coach Mike Woodson lamenting the Knicks' earlier struggles.

"If we had handled our business early on and didn't let some of the close games get away, we probably wouldn't be standing here. We'd probably be preparing for playoff basketball, but that's not the case," Woodson said. "We put ourselves in this hole and we're going to have to live with it this summer and then try to figure it out next season."

Tim Hardaway Jr. may play a larger role come 2014-15, and he's totaled 36 points while hitting 6 of 12 from beyond the arc over the past two games.

Amare Stoudemire has averaged 16.5 points and shot 57.9 percent since returning to the starting lineup March 3, and he's averaged 23.5 points and 10.0 rebounds in the past two meetings with Toronto.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Toronto1st Atlantic 4834.58507-3Lost 1
New York3rd Atlantic 3745.451117-3Won 4

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Injuries
Toronto
PlayerInjury
No injuries reported.
New York
PlayerInjury
No injuries reported.
 
Key Players
DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan, SG
38.4 Min. Per Game 38.7 Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony, SF
22.8 Pts. Per Game 27.4
4.0 Ast. Per Game 3.1
4.3 Reb. Per Game 8.1
42.9 Field Goal % 45.2
30.5 Three Point % 40.2
82.4 Free Throw % 84.8
 
 
Series Game Log
DateLocationResults
Dec 12 @ Boston 
Feb 3New York 
Feb 25 @ Boston 
Mar 27New York 
 
Other Games
Ind 101 Final
Orl 86
Chi 86 Final
Char 91
Wash 118 Final
Bos 102
Hou 100 Final
NO 105
Brook 85 Final
Cle 114
Phi 100 Final
Mia 87
Atl 111 Final
Mil 103
Utah 136 Final
Min 130
LAL 113 Final
SA 100
Det 111 Final
OKC 112
Dal 105 Final
Mem 106
GS 116 Final
Den 112
LAC 104 Final
Port 110
Pho 104 Final
Sac 99