Hughes misses Game 5 of series against Pistons

Updated: May 17, 2006, 8:06 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Still mourning the death of his younger brother, Cleveland guard Larry Hughes missed Game 5 of the Cavaliers' Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

"There is no timetable for Larry. He can take all the time he needs," Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry said as the Cavs arrived at the Palace of Auburn Hills. "Larry is all his mom has right now."

The Cavaliers traveled to St. Louis on Tuesday to attend the funeral for Justin Hughes, who died last week. The 20-year-old was born with a heart defect and had a transplant in 1997.

Hughes also missed Games 3 and 4, both victories for the Cavs as they evened the series at 2-2. Flip Murray started in Hughes' place Wednesday night, just as he did in the two previous games.

The Pistons made one change to their active roster for Game 5, deactivating Jason Maxiell and activating center Kelvin Cato as insurance in the event Rasheed Wallace's sprained right ankle gave him trouble.

One of Hughes' No. 32 road jerseys hung in an empty locker in the rear of Cleveland's locker room at The Palace.

"It wasn't my idea, but I thought it was a great one," said guard Damon Jones, who wore some of Hughes' wristbands in Games 3 and 4. "Larry's a big part of our family."

The trip to see Hughes was an emotional one for the Cavs, who elected to interrupt their series to honor their teammate and his family. Larry Hughes helped raise his younger brother, who was born with a heart defect and underwent a transplant in 1997.

Justin Hughes had been in failing health in recent months. Larry Hughes left the team for a few days in December when his brother was in the hospital.

"It was very nice to see Larry," LeBron James said. "We expressed our feelings to him and his family. He's going through tough times and we'll be very excited to get him back, if not in this series, but if we move on, in the next series."

Cavs coach Mike Brown there was no decision to make on going to the funeral. It was essential for the team to pay its respects.

"It's something that I thought needed to be done because that's way more important than this," Brown said. "It was a tough deal, but I'm glad all of our guys wanted to do it."

Brown has not spoken to Hughes about coming back for Game 6 or returning if the Cavs advance to the Eastern Conference finals against Miami.

General manager Danny Ferry said there was still no timetable for Hughes to come back.

"We'll just see how that goes," he said. "We'll do our best to support him."

Information from ESPN Insider Chris Sheridan and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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