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Thursday, March 24, 2005
George activated; Odom misses 3rd straight game

Associated Press

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.