Charlotte thin at point guard

Updated: January 19, 2005, 11:00 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Charlotte Bobcats: Guard Brevin Knight left Wednesday night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers with a sprained left ankle and did not return.

Knight, second in the NBA with 9.6 assists a game, was hurt with 8:24 to play in the first quarter. He was replaced by Jason Hart, who missed most of Monday's game with his own ankle injury.

The Bobcats carry just two point guards on their roster, a decision coach Bernie Bickerstaff has recently said he regrets.

Earlier Wednesday, veteran guard Steve Smith was activated from the injured list.

Smith, who was placed on the injured list with right knee tendinitis on Jan. 6, is expected to be in uniform for the first time since Dec. 29 when Charlotte hosts the 76ers. In 22 games this season, Smith has averaged 9.1 points and 2.0 assists in 19.8 minutes.

The 6-8 Smith has averaged 14.6 points over 914 games in a career that began with the Heat in 1991-92. He averaged 20.1 points in back-to-back seasons with the Hawks beginning in 1996-97.

To make room for Smith on the roster, the Bobcats placed center Jahidi White on the injured list with a right shoulder strain. White has averaged 2.5 points and 2.1 rebounds in 16 games this season. It is White's second stint on the injured list due to the injured shoulder.

Denver Nuggets: Forward Carmelo Anthony had only minimal swelling and a full range of motion in his right ankle after suffering a sprain during a game on Tuesday.

Team doctors decided X-rays weren't necessary, Nuggets spokesman Eric Sebastian said.

He was questionable for Friday's home game against Memphis.

Anthony sprain the ankle in the fourth quarter in Seattle. Denver won in overtime, 116-110.

Houston Rockets: The Rockets signed Rod Strickland, a veteran of 1,078 games, and released guard Brandin Knight from the 10-day contract he signed Sunday.

The Rockets, who acquired veteran guard David Wesley in a trade with the Hornets last month, have two point guards -- Charlie Ward and Reece Gaines -- on the injured list.

"Rod gives us another experienced veteran in our backcourt," Rockets general manager Carroll Dawson said. "He will give us more depth as we fight through an assortment of injuries."

Strickland averaged 6.3 points and 4.0 assists with the Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic last season, his 16th in the NBA. He has career averages of 13.4 points, 7.4 assists and 1.5 steals with nine teams, is seventh on the all-time list with 7,948 assists and ranks 19th all time with 1,613 steals.

Phoenix Suns: The Suns placed point guard Leandro Barbosa on the injured list Wednesday and signed William "Smush" Parker to a 10-day contract.

Barbosa sprained his left ankle in practice on Tuesday when he stepped on the foot of starting point guard Steve Nash. Nash twisted his back, and the resulting spasms kept him out of Wednesday night's game against Memphis.

Nash was much better, however, after two days of treatment and, barring any major setbacks, is probable for Friday night's game against San Antonio. Nash has missed the last two games with a bruised left thigh.

Nash has missed three consecutive games, the first two with a thigh bruise. The Suns lost all three and were on a four-game losing streak going into Wednesday night's game.

Parker has averaged 5.7 points in 77 career games with Cleveland and Detroit. He played in 11 games with the Pistons this season and was released on Jan. 4.

Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks activated guard Tony Delk ahead of Wednesday night's game at Miami and placed rookie guard Royal Ivey on the injured reserve list with tendinitis in his right knee.

Delk has missed the last five games with a sprained left hand. He was the Hawks' third-leading scorer, averaging 11.4 points in 22 games as a reserve.

Ivey is averaging 3.8 points and 1.6 assists in 25 games, including four starts.

Information from SportsTicker and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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