The Knicks all but put an end to the Boston Celtics five-year reign over the Atlantic Division, no doubt about it.

And in the process Mike Woodson’s club might have set up a first round playoff series with their hated rivals.

Maybe that is the Celtics plan all along, since the decision to rest a hurting Kevin Garnett for the next two weeks likely assures Boston of finishing seventh in the Eastern Conference. This way the Celtics avoid the Miami Heat and potentially get another crack at the Knicks.

The Celtics without Garnett and Rajon Rondo were no match for the Knicks, who cruised to a 100-85 victory as Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith combined for 61 points.

The Knicks (43-26) won their fifth straight game and increased their lead over Boston (36-34) to 7-½ games. The Celtics have won the Atlantic Division for five straight years and since the formation of the Big Three, plus Rondo.

But these are two clubs headed in different directions. The Knicks, despite playing without Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire, have the deeper, taller and more talented roster led by Anthony.