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Cavaliers notes: Hughes out again, will miss at least four weeks


CLEVELAND - Surprise, surprise, surprise!

Cavaliers guard Larry Hughes is hurt again, this time with a deep bone bruise on the outside of his left leg, just below the knee. The shooting guard will require four weeks of treatment before resuming any basketball activity.

"It`s tough," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said prior to Friday`s game against Utah. "I feel bad for him. I feel bad for our team. It`s a tough situation. We`ll figure out a way to strap it on, get after it and get it done."

Hughes, who is making $12 million this season, initially suffered the injury against Phoenix in the Cavaliers` third game. He missed three games and then played in three more, but the pain worsened. An X-ray and MRI on Thursday at Cleveland Clinic revealed a deep bone bruise on the left fibular head, with soft tissue swelling.

"The way I was feeling, I was kind of thinking I needed to rest it for a week or two," said Hughes, who is averaging 6.8 points on.293 field-goal shooting (17-of-58). "I`ve dealt with enough bone things and body things where it takes a little time."

The Cavaliers entered Friday with a 2-4 record with Hughes and 2-1 without him, But shooting guard is the deepest position on the team. Sasha Pavlovic started against Utah, with Devin Brown and Damon Jones, who was battling a lower back strain, backing him up.

"I`d rather not have a guy be injured to show the depth we have," Mike Brown said.

Added LeBron James: "We`re already shorthanded (without injured veterans Donyell Marshall and Eric Snow and holdout Anderson Varejao). To lose another guy is disappointing. There`s nothing we can do about it. All we can do is go out and play."

In three seasons, Hughes` most serious injury was a broken finger on his right hand in 2005-06. The Utah game was the 62nd he`s missed out of 174, with about 20 more as a result of the latest injury.


Point guard Daniel Gibson entered Friday averaging 12.2 points on just 7.4 shots a game. He was shooting .567 from the field overall and was third in the league in 3-point percentage at .585 (24-of-41).

"We do need to get him more shots," Mike Brown said. "I need to get him more shots."

Gibson entered Friday having taken 67 shots in 291 minutes. As a means of comparison, Devin Brown, a .371 shooter, had taken 62 in 197 minutes.

"I let the game come to me," Gibson said. "I really don`t press too hard."

Wednesday against Orlando, the second-year pro scored 16 points, making all five of his shots from the field. Four were 3-pointers, making him the first Cleveland player to make that many in a game without a miss. Gibson, however, attempted just one shot in the second half.

"Orlando did a good job of face-guarding me," he said. "That opened a lot of things for my teammates. That`s what I try to do."


The Cavaliers began the night giving up 103.7 points a game, which ranked 26th in the league. Mike Brown is not happy about that, but he did note that Utah, another defensive-minded team, was giving up 100.9 points.

Jerry Sloan`s team, however, led the league in scoring at 109.7. Cleveland was averaging 99.7 points.

"It`s a weird deal right now," Mike Brown said. "As the year goes on, you`ll see the better teams separate themselves. A lot of it will be because of the defensive end of the floor."


Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas is averaging 15.9 points and 12.1 rebounds in 33.9 minutes a game.

"I`ve been impressed," said Mike Brown, who would like to use Ilgauskas no more than 32 minutes a game. "He`s a professional. He always comes into camp ready to play. This year was no different."

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rickn@ohio.net

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