Franchise's winningest coach to work for Karl

Updated: February 23, 2005, 9:54 PM ET

Denver Nuggets: Former Nuggets head coach Doug Moe was named an assistant to current coach George Karl on Friday, replacing Michael Cooper, who will be reassigned.

Moe, at 432-357 the winningest coach in franchise history, was fired in 1990 but has been a consultant since 2002.

Moe was named NBA Coach of the Year after the Nuggets won a franchise record 54 games and won the Midwest Division in 1987-88. He led the Nuggets to the postseason nine straight years, including the Western Conference Finals in 1985. The Nuggets led the NBA in scoring in six of Moe's 10 seasons.

He was head coach for the San Antonio Spurs in 1976-80 and the Philadelphia 76ers in 1992-93. With 628 career victories, he is 18th in NBA history. He began his career with the Nuggets as an assistant to coach Larry Brown in 1974.

Cooper joined the Nuggets as an assistant before the current season. He was interim head coach for 14 games after Jeff Bzdelik was fired on Dec. 28.

Phoenix Suns: Steve Nash missed the Suns' game against the Clippers on Wednesday night because of a strained left hamstring.

Nash's decision not to play came shortly before tipoff, after he had tested the leg during warmups.

Nash, averaging an NBA-leading 11.5 assists and 16.4 points per game, had been bothered by the injury for about a month, but had continued to play. In his last 11 games, he had recorded at least 11 assists in each. The last player with 12 in a row was Mark Jackson in the 1996-97 season.

Portland Trail Blazers: The team activated forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim from the injured list before Wednesday night's game against the Lakers.

Abdur-Rahim missed 22 games with an injured right elbow that required surgery Jan. 12.

The move comes amid several trade speculation involving Abdur-Rahim. The NBA's trade deadline is Thursday.

The Blazers cleared the way for his return by placing guard Derek Anderson on the injured list with back spasms.

Dallas Mavericks: The team placed center Erick Dampier on the injured list and activated rookie DJ Mbenga.

Dampier, who has started all but four games for the Mavs, is expected to miss two to three weeks after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot against Golden State on Feb. 15. He is averaging 9.5 points and 8.7 rebounds.

The 7-foot Mbenga has played only sparingly in 10 games this season.

Alan Henderson started in place of Dampier in the Mavs' last game before the All-Star break. Calvin Booth and Shawn Bradley will also help pick up the slack.

Golden State Warriors: The team activated Troy Murphy from the injured list after the power forward missed the past 10 games with a broken left thumb.

Murphy is averaging career highs of 16.2 points and 11.2 rebounds while starting 42 games for the Warriors this season. The fourth-year pro was injured in the second half of Golden State's game against Seattle on Jan. 28.

Golden State also put guard Luis Flores on the injured list with a strained right hamstring. Flores has played sparingly in his first season with the Warriors while serving two previous stints on the injured list.

Charlotte Bobcats: The club placed guard Steve Smith on the injured list Wednesday with knee tendinitis and signed developmental league player Matt Carroll.

Carroll leads the NBDL with 20.1 points in 24 games with the Roanoke franchise this season. He played in 16 games with the Trail Blazers and Spurs during the 2003-04 season. Smith has played in 37 games for the Bobcats this season, averaging 7.9 points. He spent two weeks on the injured list withthe same diagnosis in January.

Washington Wizards: Guard Larry Hughes and forward Kwame Brown were activated before their Wednesday night game against the Grizzlies.

Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said Brown is ready to play. Hughes, who practiced with the team on Monday and Tuesday, said he probably won't play before Sunday night against the Kings.

"I was trying to make coach (Mike) Fratello sweat a little bit, but since you guys are on top of things," Jordan quipped about Hughes' availability for Wednesday's game. "Kwame's ready though. I'd like to put him in the game. He's looked really good in practice."

The Wizards placed guard Juan Dixon (right ankle sprain) and center Peter John Ramos (right foot) on the injured list.

Utah Jazz: Guard Raul Lopez was placed on the injured list with a left knee injury and could miss the rest of the season.

The Jazz replaced Lopez on the roster by activating point guard Keith McLeod, who was a starter until he went on the injured list Jan. 26 with a strained right hamstring.

Lopez was forced to the bench during a loss last week to the Lakers because of irritation in the knee, and it got worse over the All-Star break. He is getting a second opinion and was scheduled to undergo an MRI, Jazz spokesman Kim Turner said.

Turner said he didn't know what caused the injury, adding that it wasn't a cartilage damage.

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