Hughes misses Game 4; Cavs to attend funeral

Updated: May 17, 2006, 3:45 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Cavaliers will be without guard Larry Hughes for the second straight game when they host the Detroit Pistons in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series on Monday.

Shooting Guard
Cleveland Cavaliers

Profile
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
36 15.5 4.5 3.6 .409 .756
He remains with his grieving family following the death of his 20-year-old brother, Justin, from heart failure on Thursday.

Cleveland coach Mike Brown said the club will attend the funeral on Tuesday in St. Louis before heading to Detroit for Game 5 on Wednesday.

It was not known if Hughes, who missed 45 games this season with a serious finger injury, will accompany the team to Michigan.

Brown said Justin's passing has touched everyone in the Cavaliers' organization.

"We just want Larry to have his space and his time and we want him to be able to do whatever is necessary to help his family get through this," Brown said following Monday's morning shootaround. "We just want to let him know that we are there for him and his family in anyway that we can."

Justin Hughes died Thursday after a lifelong battle with heart problems. Born with a heart defect, he had a heart transplant in 1997.

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.

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.

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