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NEW YORK — For just the second time in a decade, the New York Knicks will be in the NBA playoffs.

But after beating the Washington Wizards on Sunday evening to officially secure a top-six spot in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks made it clear just getting to the playoffs won’t be enough to make this season a success.

“It’s a great accomplishment, because it’s one of the goals,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said after New York’s 118-109 win at Madison Square Garden. “One of several. It’s the next step along the way. So keep going. That’s where the focus is. We know how important the next game is. So get ready for Indiana, and just keep checking boxes as we go.”

That said, New York making the playoffs, given the franchise’s recent history, is no small accomplishment.

Since reaching the Eastern Conference finals in 2000, the Knicks have just one series victory — a first-round win over the Boston Celtics in 2013 — which is fewer than any other NBA team over that span. And, entering this season, the Knicks were tied with the Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves with just six playoff appearances, second fewest among NBA teams since then, and ahead of only the Charlotte Hornets (five).

And, unlike the Knicks, Kings and Timberwolves, the Hornets didn’t exist for two of those seasons.

But this day certainly didn’t come as much of a surprise given how the season has played out for the Knicks (46-33), as New York has spent most of it comfortably nestled into a top-six spot in the East and likely will wind up securing the No. 5 seed — and, with it, a date with Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Jalen Brunson, who tied Quentin Grimes to lead the Knicks with 27 points — two of four players, along with Obi Toppin (21) and Immanuel Quickley (22), to score at least 20 points Sunday for the Knicks. “Something you strive for. You want a chance to compete. The fact that we get to further along our season is great.”

After New York’s surprise run to the fourth seed and its first playoff appearance since 2013 two seasons ago, last year resulted in a return to the lottery. But after the arrival of Brunson in free agency last summer, coupled with a trade-deadline move to acquire Josh Hart from the Portland Trail Blazers, the Knicks have returned to the form they showed in Thibodeau’s first season.

That happened, in part, because Julius Randle returned to playing at an All-Star level, though Randle remains out after spraining his left ankle last week. Randle, who the Knicks said will be reevaluated April 13 — two days before the start of the first round — was on the bench Sunday in a protective boot, though all Thibodeau would say about his status was that Randle is sticking to the training schedule that’s been placed in front of him.

Sunday’s win, however, guaranteed the Knicks won’t have to play any games in next week’s play-in tournament, maximizing the amount of time Randle will be able to rest before potentially having to return to the court.

“It’s a good accomplishment,” said Quickley, who started in place of RJ Barrett (illness). “But I think we want a bit more for ourselves.”

Still, it does check off a goal that owner James Dolan laid out for this team earlier this season, when he said in a radio interview in January that a playoff trip was something he thought this group was more than capable of.

“We fully expect to make the playoffs this year,” Dolan said then. “That will definitely be a benchmark.”

For his part, Thibodeau said Sunday that he appreciated Dolan felt that was the case. And, after Sunday’s win, New York proved him right.

“I said it at the time, I love that we have an owner that has great belief in the team,” Thibodeau said. “That’s what I want. And our job is to put the work in each day. There’s no trick to this. There’s no magic to this. There’s no shortcut to it. Just put the work in each and every day, and if you do that, you’ll get better and you’ll have a chance, and that’s what we did.

“We have a lot of young guys that are getting valuable experience — young guys that are gonna get better. So they’re out there, they’re learning, they’re getting better, and we’re developing a belief that we can.”

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Knicks clinch playoff berth but plan to keep ‘checking boxes’