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Lionel Hollins, Paul Westphal back in familiar territory

Nets head coach Lionel Hollins watches his team

Nets head coach Lionel Hollins watches his team during the first day of training camp on Sept. 27, 2014 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Andrew Theodorakis

PHOENIX - Lionel Hollins and Paul Westphal said their fair share of hellos on Wednesday.

Long before rejoining forces this year in Brooklyn, Hollins and Westphal spent a lot of time in the Valley of the Sun when Hollins was an assistant on Westphal's staff. Westphal was Phoenix's head coach from 1992-96, so naturally there were many people thrilled to see the man who's now Hollins' top assistant.

Hollins certainly is pleased to have Westphal on his side after seeing him out of coaching for nearly two years.

"I had talked to Paul back in December or January," Hollins said Wednesday night. "I met up with him. He was in Nashville for a wedding and I drove up from Memphis . . . I asked him if he was interested in getting back into coaching and he said, 'Sure if the right opportunity came around.' I said, 'What about as an assistant coach?' He said, 'Well, if it's with you.'

"And so lo and behold, down the road things opened up and I called him and he said yes."

Oh, brotherWednesday night was the third time Mason Plumlee has gone up against his brother Miles' since entering the NBA a season ago.

In their previous two matchups, which were both Nets' victories, Mason got the better of his older brother. Mason averaged 10.5 points and seven rebounds compared with Miles' showing of 4.5 points and 6.5 rebounds.

"They both do similar things," the Suns' Jeff Hornacek said. "They are both very athletic. For us, Miles runs around, sets screens and tries to open up our guards and then rolls to the basket. They are both a defensive presence."

Net-ceteraJoe Johnson, in recording his 4,000th rebound Sunday, became only the seventh player in NBA history to post 17,000 points, 4,000 rebounds, 4,000 assists and 1,600 three-pointers. He joined Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Jason Kidd, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter and Kobe Bryant.

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