The Charlotte Bobcats couldn't even beat a new York Knicks team resting most of its starters, finishing with the worst winning percentage in NBA history after a 104-84 loss at home on Thursday night.

J.R. Smith scored 22 points for the Knicks, who pulled away in the second half to clinch the Eastern Conference's No. 7 seed and a first-round playoff matchup against No. 2 Miami beginning Saturday.

Gerald Henderson had 21 points for the Bobcats, whose 23d consecutive loss left them with a winning percentage of .106 (7-59) in the lockout-shortened season. The record was set 39 years ago, when the 1972-73 76ers finished 9-73 (.110) in a full regular season.

The Knicks held out Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Baron Davis, while Amar'e Stoudemire had 21 points over two quarters.

Bulls coast to win

John Lucas III scored a career-high 25 points, Joakim Noah had 13 points and 13 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls clinched the top overall seed in the NBA playoffs with a 107-75 victory over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau took no chances in the regular-season finale, resting Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Kyle Korver. Chicago will host the 76ers on Saturday.

Elsewhere: Playing without LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh for the second straight game, the Miami Heat suffered their worst defeat of the season, a 104-70 loss on the road to the Washington Wizards. . . . Paul Pierce scored all 12 of his points in the first half despite missing most of it with a sprained toe and Rajon Rondo had 15 assists as the host Boston Celtics closed the regular season with a 87-74 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Marc Gasol scored 22 points, Rudy Gay added 20 and the Memphis Grizzlies claimed the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference playoffs with an 88-76 win at home over the short-handed Orlando Magic. . . . Josh Smith scored 23 points and the Atlanta Hawks clinched home-court advantage in the first round, racing to a 23-point lead in the opening quarter on the way to a 106-89 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

- Inquirer wire services