DENVER -- The excursion that's had them mostly zigzagging across Big Sky Country and the West Coast is set to pull into its final stop, unloading the Nets into a visitor's locker room for the seventh straight time.
Call it a seven-game swing spanning both sides of the All-Star break. Refer to it as a six-game trip that technically began after the break, given that many of the players spent their time off in sunny, tropical locales. Break it down however you like.
But either way, if they're able to beat the Bucks (11-46) in Milwaukee on Saturday night, the Nets (27-29) can assure themselves of returning home with a winning record in the seven games since they last played at Barclays Center on Feb. 12.
After being drubbed by 44 points in Portland on Wednesday, the Nets took out their frustrations in a 23-point win in Denver on Thursday. It was the biggest points swing from a loss to a win on successive nights in NBA history. It also was only the second time in league history that a team lost by 40-plus points one night and won by 20-plus points the next night.
"You have to never let it happen again because that was very embarrassing," said Joe Johnson, whose Nets led 29-8 after a quarter. "You can't really look at the tape and look at one thing we could have really worked on. There were so many mishaps that it was embarrassing."
Now the Nets need to show they've really learned their lesson. "It's huge," coach Jason Kidd said. "This is a big game for us. If we can go 4-2, that's a heck of a road trip coming out of the All-Star break."
Losing to the Bucks certainly wouldn't represent a step forward in building some consistency. Said Johnson, "If we can go into Milwaukee with the attitude we had [Thursday] and come out with a win, this would be a pretty good trip."
Said Deron Williams, "We've got to build on this win. We can't go and lay an egg against Milwaukee. This is a big game for us to end the road trip right."
The NBA announced Friday that it will donate all proceeds -- not to be less than $100,000 -- from the sale of Jason Collins Nets jerseys to the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Matthew Shepard Foundation. The league also will auction off Collins' autographed, game-worn jerseys to benefit the same organizations.
The No. 98 jersey worn by Collins, the first openly gay active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports, has risen to the No. 1 spot on the top-selling jersey list at NBAStore.com. Collins chose to wear the number "98" in honor of Shepard, a college student who was murdered in 1998 after being targeted for being openly gay.