Philadelphia's Game 4 win was needed, not just to build a little cushion, but to continue squishing the Bulls' collective face firmly against the concrete ground.
The Sixers did not win the series Sunday, not yet at least, but they drove another stake into Chicago's confidence while boosting their own self-belief.
"Absolutely accurate. Absolutely accurate," said veteran Elton Brand, who in his reconstructed career has turned into Dennis Rodman. "If we lost today, it would affect our mentality. Our organization. Our franchise. Our talent level. Just all we're doing here.
"We still have to fight to win this series. But this game, at home, to really take the driver's seat - we had to have this. For the growth of the young guys."