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The sellout crowd welcomed Collins with a nice ovation when public address announcer Lawrence Tanter announced his name, and he spent 4 minutes and 15 seconds on the court during his first stint while the Nets increased their lead to 16 points.

“It was very inspiring, how he just came in and was ready. He did the same thing for us last year with Boston,” Pierce said. “You expect nothing but professionalism from Jason. He’s much needed around here with the lack of big men we have, especially with Kevin playing limited games in back-to-back moments. Jason’s going to be big for us.”

Kirilenko made his first start of the season in Livingston’s place and had 10 points and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes. Rookie Mason Plumlee made his second NBA start in Garnett’s spot, and the Nets didn’t miss a beat - using 14 points by Pierce to build a 31-12 lead with 3:35 left in the first quarter.

NOTES: Bad timing Dept.: ESPN had this game on its original schedule, but dropped it a few weeks ago because of the Lakers‘ dismal record and Bryant’s injury. As a result, the network settled for the Houston-Phoenix game instead. … The Lakers hosted the Nets for the first time since Nov. 20, 2012, the night Mike D’Antoni coached his first game with Los Angeles. D’Antoni’s teams are 21-8 against the Nets, including a 9-5 mark during his three-plus seasons with the Knicks.