The Bobcats won only seven games this season and their winning percentage of .106 established an all-time league record. Philadelphia's .110 winning percentage, set during its 9-73 1972-73 season, had been the old mark.
Charlotte's dismal season ended with a franchise-record 23 consecutive losses -- three short of the NBA record.
New York earned the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. That achievement will put the Knicks into a first-round playoff meeting with Miami in a series that will start Saturday.
Smith scored 22 points and Amare Stoudemire had 21 for New York, which won five of its last six games.
Gerald Henderson had 21 points for the Bobcats, who trailed by only two at intermission.