Hughes' status for Game 4 vs. Pistons still unclear

Updated: May 14, 2006, 1:49 AM ET news services

CLEVELAND -- Cavaliers starting guard Larry Hughes remained with his grieving family and missed Game 3 against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday following the sudden death of his 20-year-old brother.

Shooting Guard
Cleveland Cavaliers

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Hughes is in St. Louis mourning the loss of his brother, Justin, who died Thursday after a lifelong battle with heart problems. Born with a heart defect, Justin Hughes had a heart transplant in 1997.

A moment of silence was observed before Saturday's game in Cleveland, where the Cavs beat the Pistons 86-77.

Along with his mother, Larry Hughes helped raise his brother, whose wake is scheduled for Monday at about the same time the Cavaliers play the Pistons in Game 4 of their best-of-seven series.

The funeral is scheduled for Tuesday morning, and Cavs coach Mike Brown said the team is considering flying to Missouri to show support, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

Brown reiterated Saturday that there was no timetable for Hughes to return.

"The only thing I'm thinking about is that he's taking care of his family," said Brown, who hasn't spoken to Hughes. "I don't want to bother him. When it [Hughes' return] happens, it happens."

With Hughes out, Flip Murray started Game 3 -- and probably will start Game 4 -- for the Cavaliers. Murray started 25 games during the regular season, filling in while Hughes recovered from two finger operations. The Cavs went 18-7 with Murray as a starter.

"Whatever the situation I'm in, if I'm a starter or coming off the bench, it's all the same," Murray said after practice on Friday. "I'm just going to go out there and play."

Larry Hughes centered his life around his little brother. He was recruited by several elite college basketball programs while in high school, but chose St. Louis University so he could be near him.

When Justin's medical bills became overwhelming, Larry Hughes left college after one season for the NBA. He signed with the Cavaliers as a free agent last summer partly because of the nearby Cleveland Clinic.

In 2000, Hughes and his mother, Vanessa, formed The Larry Hughes Foundation to provide financial and emotional support to families of organ donors and recipients.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.