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Monday, December 16, 2013
Lopez expects to play on Monday

By Mike Mazzeo

Brook Lopez
Brook Lopez has averaged 24 points on 69 percent shooting over his past three games.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez thinks he will play Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.

“I’m pretty sure. I think so, yeah. That’s the idea,” Lopez said.

Added Nets coach Jason Kidd: “We hope [he plays]. We’ll see how he feels, how he goes through walkthrough. And then we’ll make a decision.”

Lopez missed Friday night’s loss to the Detroit Pistons after re-spraining his left ankle late in the third quarter of Thursday night’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

“I’m feeling pretty good. I’m just excited to get back out there,” Lopez said.

Lopez missed seven games after originally spraining his left ankle Nov. 15 in Phoenix.

“It never felt as severe as the first ankle sprain did, so I was just focused on getting back out on the court as soon as possible,” he said.

In his previous three games, Lopez had been averaging 24 points on 69 percent shooting. On the season, the 25-year-old ranks fifth in the NBA in Player Efficiency Rating behind LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Anthony Davis.

“He gives you quite a few points, but he’s also someone that teams double-team, and he’s able to make the right plays for the team,” Kidd said.

Kidd said if Lopez does play, the Nets will monitor him early on.

“We’ll watch him at the beginning and see how he’s running. That will kind of tell everything if we can go with him or not,” Kidd said.

Shooting guard Joe Johnson plans to play. He missed Sunday’s practice due to a cold.

“I’m a little better,” Johnson said.

Forward Andrei Kirilenko (back) and guard Jason Terry (knee) remain out.