George activated; Odom misses 3rd straight game


Los Angeles Lakers: Forward Brian Cook was placed
on the injured list on Thursday because of a sprained right hand.
Cook was hurt during practice Wednesday in Denver, where the
Lakers played the Nuggets on Thursday night. X-rays were negative
and he is expected to miss two weeks.
Cook is averaging 6.5 points and 3.1 rebounds in 64 games.
Devean George, who has missed the entire season while recovering
from ankle surgery in July, was activated from the injured list.
George averaged career-highs in points (7.4), rebounds (4.0),
assists (1.4) and minutes (23.8) in 82 games last season.
Lakers forward Lamar Odom missed his third straight game
Thursday because of a left shoulder injury. He didn't accompany the
team on its trip and will be re-examined Friday.

Denver Nuggets: The Nuggets had to play without center
Marcus Camby and power forward Kenyon Martin against the Lakers due to injuries.
Camby sprained his right ankle early in the third quarter
against Washington on Tuesday and didn't return. Martin suffered a
bruised chest against the Wizards sometime in the second half.

They were replaced by Francisco Elson and Bryon Russell in the
starting lineup, but Elson went out early in the third quarter
after injuring his right leg. He couldn't put any weight on the leg
and alternated between hopping and being helped on the way to the
locker room.

The Nuggets entered the game three games ahead of Minnesota for
the final Western Conference playoff spot. The Lakers were 4½ games
back after losing their sixth straight game Tuesday against Utah.

Portland Trail Blazers: The Blazers activated
forward Rubern Patterson from the injured list Thursday after he
missed 11 games with a sore left knee.

Patterson was averaging 10.7 points and 4.1 assists when he was
placed on the injured list on March 3.

Remaining on the Blazers' injured list are guard Nick Van Exel,
who has an arthritic left knee, and forward Zach Randolph, who is
expected to have surgery on his right knee and is out for the rest
of the season.

Utah Jazz: The club will honor former point guard John Stockton with a statue outside the Delta Center next week.

The 8-foot sculpture of Stockton, the NBA's all-time leader in assists and steals, will be unveiled south of the arena before Utah's home game against Denver on Wednesday. The Jazz also honored Stockton in November by retiring his No. 12 -- the sixth number to
be retired in team history.

Stockton retired at the end of the 2002-03 season, ending a 19-year career spent entirely with the Jazz.

A statue of Stockton's longtime pick-and-roll partner Karl Malone is also in the works and scheduled to be unveiled next year. Malone, the second-leading scorer in NBA history, retired last month after 19 seasons, 18 with Utah.