Things are slowly getting back to normal for Brook Lopez.

The Nets center was under a pair of minute restrictions — with a cap of about 24 minutes and not playing more than six minutes at a time — in his first two games back after suffering a sprained right foot.

But prior to last night's 92-90 loss to the Jazz, Nets coach Avery Johnson said Lopez's minutes would increase to about 30 both last night and tonight against the Knicks, and he'll also have the six-minute increment restrictions lifted, as well.

That's exactly how the game went for Lopez, who finished with 16 points, five rebounds and three blocks in 30:28.

"He's good to go," Johnson said before the game. "We're going to take these next two games and increase his minutes ... with the idea of getting him through these two games."

"We then have a three-day break, and [will have] him increase his rehab and his workload, with the idea that maybe sometime this coming weekend for that Sunday game or whatever we can get him back to normal."

* Jerry Stackhouse and Josh Childress were inactive last night with a sore right knee and sore left foot, respectively. Stackhouse, who has been a part of the team's core rotation, has been held out of one-half of each of the previous back-to-backs this season.

Johnson said Stackhouse might not be available for tonight's game against the Knicks, either.

"We've got to check his knee situation," Johnson said. "Normally [he'd be sitting] because of age and minutes, but that may not be the case [today]. "

"We've got to really see how his knee is [today] before we activate him."

* The Nets also returned to their regular starting lineup last night, with Kris Humphries sliding back into his usual power forward spot and replacing Reggie Evans.