Knicks’ Brown won’t coach today in Detroit

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NEW YORK (AP) – Larry Brown did not travel to Detroit on Saturday and will not coach the Knicks today when they play the Pistons.

Brown was hospitalized Thursday night in Cleveland with a stomach ailment after becoming ill during the Knicks’ 91-87 loss to the Cavaliers. He returned home Friday, but assistant coach Herb Williams ran the team in a 97-80 loss to Milwaukee.

Brown will miss a chance to coach in Detroit, where he spent the two previous seasons, winning a title in 2004, before joining the Knicks last summer. He got a mixed reception when the Knicks played at the Palace of Auburn Hills in December.

It is not known if Brown will coach the final two games of the regular season, Monday at home against Charlotte or at New Jersey on Wednesday.

The Knicks are 22-57, the worst record in the Eastern Conference.

The 65-year-old Brown missed a game for the first time this season Friday. He also was hospitalized in Memphis in February because of a pain in his chest, but returned before the next game.

While coaching the Pistons last season, he missed 17 games after having a hip replaced. That operation led to a bladder problem that required surgery in November.

Brown needs more surgery for the bladder problem, but he’s putting that off until after the season.

James expected to return to Cavs’ lineup

CLEVELAND (AP) – LeBron James expects to play Sunday against the Washington Wizards, saying he “feels good” after testing his sprained left ankle.

James practiced Saturday, four days after rolling his ankle late in the third quarter of a 23-point loss in Detroit.

“I feel good right now,” James said. “It feels about 85 percent now and that’s good enough to play without hurting the team.”

James missed a 91-87 home win over New York on Thursday. He intends to play in Cleveland’s final three regular-season games to stay sharp for the Cavaliers’ first trip to the playoffs since 1998 – when he was a 13-year-old in junior high school.

Still, he doesn’t want to risk further injury and put the team’s postseason hopes in jeopardy.

“I’ll play it game by game and see how I feel,” he said. “I want to be 100 percent when it counts the most.”

The third-year guard, who is averaging 31.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 6.6 assists and is a candidate for league MVP honors, said his initial worry turned to relief shortly after crashing to the court.

“When it first happened, I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “It was a big relief when I was able to walk to the locker room. When I could put pressure on it, I knew it wasn’t as bad as other sprains I’ve had.”

One game with his 21-year-old star on the bench almost proved too much to bear for coach Mike Brown.

“I got nervous looking to my right and seeing LeBron pacing around, not knowing what to do with himself,” Brown said. “He’s such a competitor. I don’t know if he gets more worn out sitting or playing. But it wore me out.”

Brown said he wants to play his starters just enough minutes to keep them in rhythm, while extending guard Larry Hughes’ playing time. Hughes scored 26 points in 40 minutes Thursday – his best game since returning April 2 after missing three months with a broken finger on his right hand.

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