EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Timberwolves veteran guard Kevin Ollie stayed in the starting lineup however briefly Friday night in New Jersey, this time in a daunting attempt to defend Devin Harris, the Nets' suddenly unstoppable point guard.

Acquired last season from Dallas for Jason Kidd in a trade that already looks so decidedly lopsided, Harris is perhaps the quickest player in the league and the reason why the Nets are 10-8.

On the Nets' 3-1 Western road trip he torched Utah's Deron Williams and Phoenix's Steve Nash for 81 points on consecutive nights and was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

Nets coach Lawrence Frank simply has given Harris the ball and told him to create. So Harris, the former Wisconsin Badger who was the fifth player selected in the 2004 draft, dribbles and scores and when that option is denied, he finds one of four shooters who spread the floor or him.

"It's a lot of one-on-one, if you want to get technical," Harris said. "It takes the thinking out of the game. You just make the reads, whether it's geting to the basket, shooting the pull-up or, if they suck it in, making the pass."

Ollie lasted just two minutes before drawing two quick fouls, and Wolves coach Randy Wittman summoned Sebastian Telfair.

"I think he's our better matchup on Harris," Wittman said of Ollie before the game. "Contain, contain, contain is the No. 1 topic. You have to contain or you're hoping and praying they [the Nets' shooters] aren't knocking down threes."

Not Miller time

Wolves veteran Mike Miller tested his sprained right ankle in an early workout before Friday's game and was put on the night' s inactive list when he and the team's training staff deemed that ankle too tender on which to play.

"If it was up to me, I'd be playing tonight," he said. "At the same time, I've got to be smart. We have 82 games. I got to be ready for all those. I only did in two days ago, so I can't expect it to be where I want it to be. Whenever I come back, tonight or tomorrow or Tuesday, it's not going to be 100 percent, either. But they pay us to play basketball."


• With Miller unavailable, rookie Kevin Love returned to the starting lineup for the first time since a Nov. 15 game against Portland. He had collected double-double games in two of the past three but was nearly invisible in the first half Friday before awakening after intermission to provide an emphatic one-handed slam dunk and his long outlet pass of the season, a 70-foot strike to Ryan Gomes for a layup.

• Friday night's game ended a three-game Eastern trip that Wittman began by flying from Minneapolis to Indiana to watch his son, Ryan, play for Cornell against the Hoosiers, Wittman's alma mater, and ended with him back home today to watch Ryan and Cornell play the Gophers at Williams Arena.