Los Angeles • Brian Cook is enjoying this trip as much as anybody.
A first-round pick out of Illinois in 2003, Cook played for the Lakers from 2003-08. He returned to L.A. in 2010 and played two season for the Clippers.
There were a few hecklers as he checked into Tuesday night's preseason game against his old team. Then the veteran big man took advantage of the homecoming.
"I always love playing in this place," he said after scoring a team-high 18 points. "I played most of my career here. With the Lakers, they've always got a target on their back."
The Jazz are carrying 19 players right now but will have to cut that down to at least 15 before the end of the month. Cook made it all the way to Oct. 31 last year with the Wizards before being waived.
"I'm just trying to stay even keeled right now and show that I can still play at 32," he said.
It's a little unusual for the Jazz to still be carrying so many players at this point in the preseason. But the Jazz are dealing with injuries and are still working to figure out a young team.
Coach Ty Corbin said there are positions still up for grabs.
"As a player, if I'm still in a place I always think there's time to impress or hurt what I've built up," he said Wednesday morning at shootaround. "So guys have to stay focused on playing and playing effectively for us because we do have spots."
Cook, who had previously had a preseason high of 5 points, said the extra minutes he got Wednesday helped him find a rhythm and not worry about missing shots. He fired up nine 3-pointers, hitting three of them over 20 minutes last night.
The Jazz have used big men with range in the past and Cook sees a fit in Utah.
"This is a great offense for that," he said. "They runt he splits on the offensive end and we've got good guards that take a lot of attention away. … We'll have to see."
— Aaron Falk
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