They are at the point that scoreboard-watching is woven into the fabric of their daily lives, and last night was no different for the surging Nets.
Their 117-80 victory over the Wizards at Barclays Center was barely in the books when Thaddeus Young let his eyes do the walking, peeking at a key result that had a bearing on the Nets' spot in the standings.
"I was just seeing that Boston won," Young said, "so you look and see those things. But at the end of the day, we are just trying to win as many basketball games as possible and let everything play itself out."
Fighting for their postseason lives, the Nets kept up the scintillating play that has them boasting the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference since the All-Star break. Buoyed by a 20-1 run to start the fourth quarter that turned a 75-62 lead into a 32-point cushion, the Nets (37-42) kept themselves in prime position to punch a playoff ticket.
With three games left, the Nets are tied with the Celtics for seventh place in the conference, a game ahead of the Pacers and two in front of the Heat. Their destiny remains firmly in their grasp.
"Well, if we don't keep it going, we'll be at home. And if we keep it going, we'll be in the playoffs," coach Lionel Hollins said.
Brook Lopez did his best to ensure the Nets got their eighth victory in their last 10 games. He had 26 points and nine rebounds, leading the Nets to a 54-42 edge in points in the paint. Bojan Bogdanovic scored a career high-tying 22 points and drained a career-high six three-pointers (in six attempts).
Bogdanovic spearheaded a bench that produced 58 points.
The Wizards were without a resting John Wall for a second straight game after he played in 208 consecutive contests. They were led by Bradley Beal (24 points) and Marcin Gortat (21 points, 14 rebounds). Paul Pierce was held to three points by his former teammates.
The Nets forced 21 turnovers and scored a season-high 38 points off of them. They took apart the Wizards (45-34) in the fourth quarter, utilizing a beautiful display of ball movement and selfless play. The Nets picked up assists on seven of their 12 field goals in the quarter and on 29 of their 45 baskets overall.
"I think it's really fun to play like that," said Deron Williams, who had nine assists. "It benefits everybody. We are playing like a team and we are not playing like a group of individuals that was thrown out there."
Notes & quotes: Alan Anderson (sprained left ankle) missed his fourth straight game. Hollins didn't have an update on Anderson and sounded unsure if he'll be able to return for their playoff push: "I don't know. I don't know if he's coming back at all."