Kevin Garnett won't be returning to the court this week.
Jason Kidd announced before Monday night's game that Garnett has been ruled out through at least Friday. That means the 37-year-old will sit out all three games this week and will miss at least 11 straight games as he fights through back spasms.
Garnett will be re-evaluated before the Nets head to Dallas, where they'll face the Mavericks on Sunday to begin a four-day, three-game road trip. "We felt that we can hold him until Saturday and we'll re-evaluate and see before we leave for Dallas," Kidd said. "But there's no setbacks."
Garnett initially was on track to return March 10 against Toronto, but his back apparently didn't stay loose after he went through some pregame warm-ups. He hasn't been seen since.
Although the Nets are 7-2 in these last nine games without Garnett, they probably can get by only so long without having the guy who sets the tone defensively, especially when it comes to communication.
"He's our anchor defensively," Deron Williams said. "He's the loudest, he's the most vocal defensively. We definitely miss that. We definitely miss his leadership and just his presence out there on the floor."
All in the Plumlee family
It was the battle of the Plumlees Monday night, with Mason, 24, matching up against his brother Miles, 25, for the second time as a pro. Most get an extra thrill out of playing a sibling, but Mason Plumlee made it seem as if it was no big deal. "Not really," he said. "Whenever I try to make it more than what it is, you end up playing out of character. So I just do what my team needs me to do. Stay so they know what to expect and you don't go off the reservation and do your own thing."
Mason shot 5-for-6 and had 14 points and 11 rebounds in 27:17. Miles had three points and six rebounds in 18:21.
Gutierrez gets spot duty
"Well, I wanted to see if he could play," Kidd said. "I don't just want to sign someone for 10 days or 20 days and not give him the opportunity to play. It's not fair for us or for him.
" I felt in a game like this, there was an opportunity. They are going to put a lot of pressure on the perimeter with their guards, so I wanted to see what he could do and I thought he did a great job."
Said Gutierrez, "I was a little nervous. It is what it is. I was surprised, but you've got to play. Once you step on the court, everything has got to go and you've got to perform."