It looks every bit the fairy-tale run, but Hawks star Gary Clark says a tight play-in race is "irrelevant" to a Hawks outfit eyeing much more than a post-season participation ribbon.
A loss to the Kings would have seen them slip to seventh spot on the ladder and left them needing to win both games and see other results fall their way to scrape into the play-in.
The victory over their arch-rivals puts the Hawks destiny in their own hands but, while fans and pundits will be keeping a keen eye on the live standings through the final round of the regular season, Clark's not giving the ladder a second glance.
"For me personally, I don't really keep up with a lot of things when it comes to what's posted [online] and how the standings are and stuff like that," Clark said.
"At the end of the day, I think our group is just a hungry group and every time we do watch it we're not mentioned. All that does is just give us more fire.
"There's no relief to be in [the finals]. Just to get in is what? Just to say we made it in? Being in [the playoffs], it's kind of irrelevant. It's about building these wins and just trying to get going post-season.
"We're still trying to win this thing out and get the momentum we need to go into the postseason and really make a lot of noise. We're still trying to win games, make statement wins."
The run is vindication of sorts for the 29-year-old, who told the Mercury way back in October that "no other crew has what we have" and that the Hawks were "just off being a team that no one wants to play every night."
Asked following the Kings win why he held such faith, the All-NBL First Team favourite said he could see what others couldn't from that 1-4 hole.
"You could see the pieces of it throughout those struggle days," Clark said.
"A lot of the guys in the locker room, it was just their ability and just each guy's selflessness. That's one thing we pride ourselves on is the way the club recruited each guy, and being so selfless and good guys that anybody can have a good night.
"I could see 'if we put this together and get this figured out, we'll be in a really good spot'. Sure enough, as time came along, you're all seeing the product of that patience and how good we can be with everyone stepping up to the plate and doing their job.
"We all realised that we had an opportunity to really change a lot of our careers.
"A lot of guys have never been in a situation like what we're going through right now. It was eye-opener for many people individually just to be like 'we could do something special here' and everyone can be a part of it."
The selflessness was on display against the Kings as the Hawks notched 26 assists on 31 field goals, Clark finishing with five dimes to go with his 22 points and seven rebounds. It looks the biggest growth area under Tatum, but Clark feels the largest shift has been in mentality.
"I think it's just our resilience knowing every game down the stretch right now is just so important for us," Clark said.
"We're playing for the long haul. Davo (Will Hickey) is stepping up, we've had games with (Hyunjung) Lee doing that, Lachie (Olbrich). Biwali Bayles didn't play a lot [on Sunday], but he's been a part of this journey so far.
"When we get in the game and everyone is just on point throughout the game. It just shows our attention to our details off the court. I think everyone's excitement and trust in that has kept guys locked in and playing with a fire because any night it could be any guy to step up to the plate.
"It's a basketball game, there's going to be ups and downs and just being able to handle each one of those waves how we handled it [has improved]."