- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Nets have adopted "I love it" as their team slogan this season.
So it's easy to guess how Nets power forward Kris Humphries responded when asked if he expects to be booed by Knicks fans again at the Garden on Saturday night.
"I love it," Humphries said after scoring 16 points and grabbing nine rebounds in his team's 108-105 loss to the Timberwolves on Friday night at Prudential Center. "I don't care. I like a hostile environment. That's gonna make me really get after it. It's motivating."
Knicks fans booed Humphries every time he touched the ball on Dec. 21, when the two teams met in a preseason contest. It certainly caught him off guard.
"The first time I had [re-signed] like two hours earlier and I'm in uniform that day and then I'm getting booed,” said Humphries, who had gone through a highly scrutinized split from Kim Kardashian after just 72 days of marriage in the offseason. "I'm just trying to get my feet under me."
Humphries said he doesn't consider the Nets-Knicks matchup a rivalry this early in the season.
"We've been far away from being a playoff team since I've been here," Humphries said. "I think later on if we're both in that position where we're fighting for a spot, yeah. But to us, it's just another game."
Point guard Deron Williams wants this game, though.
"We're heading to Brooklyn [next season], and we want to make this a rivalry-type game," Williams said. "I'm sure guys have had this one circled and are looking forward to it, so hopefully it'll be a good atmosphere."
Shooting guard Anthony Morrow expects a playoff-type atmosphere. Neither team is currently in the playoff picture, but they're only separated by a half-game in the standings.
"We know the importance of this game, not just because of the city rivalry, but because it's a playoff-type game, and we've gotta take that type of mentality into New York," Morrow said.
"It's huge. You kinda just know everybody around here is a basketball head. The rivalry is big on Twitter and Facebook. It's fun. It’s fun to play at MSG. We just gotta bring the same energy."
LOPEZ UPDATE: Center Brook Lopez has been out with a broken right foot for exactly six weeks.
So when's he going to be back? Next week? After all, the Nets did say the timetable was approximately six to eight weeks.
"I don't know," Lopez said. "I just took a little pocket schedule to [trainer] Timmy [Walsh], and I told him to point out a game, and he folded it up and put it in his pocket."
So what's Lopez doing right now?
"Running, shooting and box jumps, that's about all that's new," Lopez said. "We're gonna start working on some lateral movement soon."
"It feels great. I had no idea how excited I'd be to jump rope," Lopez joked.
Lopez said he still thinks he needs to do some more lateral movements, some pivoting and some jumping before he returns. Right now, he said his reps have been very limited.
He hopes to make it through them without any soreness before amping anything up.
NETS NOTES: The Nets elected to bus into Manhattan late Friday night rather than sit two hours in Lincoln Tunnel traffic, coach Avery Johnson joked. ... Jordan Farmar had 14 points and a season-high tying seven assists. He has now scored in double figures in three straight games. ... Rookie second-rounder Jordan Williams had his second straight solid outing, finishing with eight points and five rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench.