New Jersey Nets' Brook Lopez, right, talks with twin brother...

New Jersey Nets' Brook Lopez, right, talks with twin brother Phoenix Suns' Robin Lopez before a foul shot in the second quarter in an NBA basketball game. (Jan. 20, 2010) Credit: AP

PORTLAND, Ore. -- It's something that hasn't happened in a while, creating another reminder of just how much time Brook Lopez's foot injuries have cost him.

No wonder the Nets' big man was giddy Saturday night, knowing he was about to square off against twin brother Robin with several members of his family and good friends in attendance at the Moda Center after making the trip from California.

"It's always a good time," Lopez said before scoring 21 points in the Nets' 97-87 loss to the Trail Blazers, who were missing LaMarcus Aldridge (illness) and Nic Batum (knee). "I had dinner with my family yesterday and it was just like old times. So I definitely look forward to this whenever it's on the schedule."

Even if on this particular occasion, word was his mother might have been secretly pulling for Robin. Or so the story goes.

"I guess so," Brook said. "I guess that's what home-court advantage is. I will have to be satisfied with our little nieces cheering. They won't know what's going on."

Joe Johnson had 20 points and Deron Williams 19 for the Nets. Damian Lillard had 28 points and 10 assists for the Blazers. Robin Lopez had 10 points.

In terms of individual results, Brook had gotten the upper hand on Robin during their pro careers. In their seven previous matchups, Brook posted averages of 18.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks compared to Robin's 11.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. But Robin has the true bragging rights: His team was 4-3, giving him the upper hand.

One would assume there's a little chatter between the two when they collide, just as you'd expect from two competitive brothers knocking heads. Not so, according to Brook.

"We don't talk when we are on the court," he said. "We don't talk to each other at all. A lot of our teammates trash-talk each other for us, but we kind of leave it alone."

Brook has been down on himself lately because he feels he isn't playing up to his standards as he works his way back after missing the better part of last season because of foot injuries. The Nets hoped battling against his brother would help get him out of his recent funk, and Lionel Hollins has been in his ear, making sure he understands that he needs to be an all-around player.

"Basketball is about five men being out there on the same page," Hollins said, "defending the ball, rebounding the ball, executing the offense. Screening, cutting. Brook's been in the league six years, he's averaging somewhere around 18, 20 points a game for most of his career, and I just want him to understand that's not just all there is to winning. There's a lot more that has to be done, and I told the players again this morning that it's the little things that win."

Putting together a complete game has been an issue for the Nets, and it led to inconsistent play during their first eight games. To become the team they want to be weeks from now, Lopez and the Nets are fully aware that can't continue.

"We just have to continue to work on what we do as a team well and try to extend it for the full time frame of the game," Lopez said. "We've run offense great, played defense great for around a half, and we just kind of get out of it after that. But we just need to sustain it, and that's what we are focusing on working on."

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