Pregame notes: Nets vs. Suns

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets center Kevin Garnett will miss his ninth consecutive game on Monday night against the Phoenix Suns due to back spasms.

“He’s feeling better, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said. he has said the same thing for a while now.

The Nets have gone 6-2 without Garnett.

Mason Plumlee will face his brother, Miles, for the third time this season.

The two went out to dinner on Sunday night.

Plumlee isn’t making too much of the matchup. “Whenever you try to make it more than what it is, you end up playing out of character,” said Plumlee, who has started in Garnett’s absence and averaged 6.0 points and 4.9 rebounds on 62.9 percent shooting during that span. “I just do what my team needs me to do, so they know what to expect. You don’t go off the reservation and do your own thing.”

Plumlee was asked if he and his brother talk while they’re on the court. “Yeah, we talk,” he replied, laughing.

Deron Williams is happy for ex-Nets teammate Gerald Green, who has emerged as one of Phoenix’s go-to options on offense.

“It was tough seeing him go after he kinda had a resurgence here, playing so well for us after signing those 10-days and signing on for the rest of the season. But he definitely deserves it,” Williams said of Green, who is averaging 15.6 points on 44.0 percent shooting. “He’s definitely worked hard and it’s good to see a guy like him get a second chance.”

With 18 games left, the Nets (33-31) are 3 1/2 games behind the Toronto Raptors in the Atlantic Division. The Eastern Conference playoff standings are jumbled, so the Nets know the significance of every game from here on out.

“Every game counts,” Joe Johnson said. “We have to have a sense of urgency from start to finish.”

Johnson beat the Suns with a floater at the buzzer on Nov. 15 in Phoenix. “It was a long time ago,” he said, laughing. “We’re a different team. They’re a different team. It should be a pretty good game.”

Brooklyn has won its last eight games at Barclays Center.