After their scintillating overtime win against the streaking Indiana Pacers on Saturday night - a victory that pushed their magic number for clinching a playoff spot to one - the 76ers were focused on what they must do rather than what they had just done.
Yes, it was exhilarating to end the Pacers' winning streak at seven games. After all, the 109-106 victory marked the first time this season that the Sixers had won a game decided by three or fewer points (they had lost three others). And, yes, it also marked just the second time in the last six weeks that the Sixers (33-30) had won back-to-back games.
But coach Doug Collins and Andre Iguodala didn't want the Sixers getting caught up in the moment. So they both spoke to the team about Monday's meeting with the New Jersey Nets (22-42) at the Prudential Center in Newark.
It will be the final game in New Jersey for the franchise before it moves to Brooklyn next season.
"Last night, we had a great win," Collins said after a Sunday afternoon practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. "Dre spoke to them and told them to think about the next game. And I said, 'Let's not have a high like tonight, then not take care of our business.' And I told them today that we have every chance [Monday] to wrap things up. If we win tomorrow, we don't have to depend on anybody else.
"It's their last game there," Collins continued. "Let's close that building down, get the win, get on the bus, and we can start thinking about what we have to do to prepare for the playoffs."
With three games remaining on their regular-season schedule, the Sixers, who have lost two of their three meetings with the lottery-bound Nets, hold a three-game lead over Milwaukee (30-33) in the race for the final seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Bucks, losers of three of their last four, have been focusing on their next-to-last game of the season - at home Wednesday against the Sixers - as an opportunity to potentially put themselves in position to win the final playoff berth. Their rationale is that their season finale at Boston would pit them against a Celtics team resting key players for the playoffs.
The Sixers, though, can make that scenario irrelevant by beating the Nets, who are coming off a 106-95 loss at Milwaukee.
New Jersey played at Milwaukee without point guard Deron William, who has missed the team's last three games with a sore left calf. It's likely that he will be out Monday.
Of course, when the teams played 10 days ago at the Wells Fargo Center - three days after the Sixers scored a 107-88 victory at the Prudential Center - the Nets, without Gerald Wallace, stunned the Sixers, 95-89.
"That is why I say we have to go there and take care of it," Iguodala said. "We have to go up there and control our own destiny and not try to rely on another team losing. I think that will be really important for us."