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Brown returns to Pistons

Associated Press
Published April 1, 2005


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Pistons coach Larry Brown never wanted to miss a game, let alone the rest of the season. Now that the coach's troubled hip is improving, the team has its leader back.

Brown returned to coach practice Thursday and will be on the bench tonight against the Clippers after a 10-game absence.

"It's great to be back with these guys," Brown said. "This is where I want to be."

Brown's future with the defending NBA champion became uncertain Tuesday when he openly questioned whether he would be able to return.

"I always intended to come back, and now seemed to be the right time to do it," he said. "I hate that it took this long, but I had to get well enough."

Brown has been unable to coach since having a procedure related to hip surgery, which caused him to miss six games in November.

WEBBER SIDELINED: Sixers forward Chris Webber will miss 7-10 days after spraining his left shoulder against the Suns. Webber was injured Wednesday in the first half of Phoenix's win over the 76ers. Webber said the team doctor told him at halftime not to return, but he ignored the advice and played. "I would just say you should always listen to the doctor," Webber said after the game.

BULLS: Center Eddy Curry was treated for an irregular heartbeat after staying behind in Charlotte and missing his team's game against Cleveland. Curry was not scheduled to return to Chicago until today, when he is expected to be examined by team doctors. "You wouldn't be human if you weren't worried about it," coach Scott Skiles said.

MAGIC: Point guard Andre Barrett was signed to a 10-day contract, two days after the team learned backup Jameer Nelson will miss at least two weeks with a torn muscle.

Thursday's games

PACERS 114, HEAT 108 (OT): Stephen Jackson's 3-pointer with .2 seconds left forced overtime, and then he put host Indiana ahead for good on another 3 with 1:54 left.

It was the third straight overtime game between the teams, and Indiana extended its winning streak over the Heat to 12.

Jackson finished with 29 points, and Reggie Miller had 31 points and 13 assists. Dwyane Wade scored 37 for Miami, and Shaquille O'Neal 24. O'Neal, who had 13 rebounds, did not score in overtime after scoring 10 in the fourth quarter.

BULLS 102, CAVS 90 (OT): Overcoming LeBron James' tying 3-pointer at the buzzer in regulation, host Chicago scored the first 11 of overtime for its eighth straight win. James tied it at 88 with a high-arching 3 from 26 feet, but the Bulls held Cleveland without a basket in the extra period, outscoring the Cavs 14-2.