Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders misses game with illness

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota coach Flip Saunders missed the Timberwolves' game against Denver on Monday night because of an illness.

Saunders has been battling the bug that has circulated through the team for a few days and was hopeful he could make it to the game after skipping the morning shootaround. But by Monday afternoon it became clear he wasn't feeling well enough to coach, so assistant Sam Mitchell took over.

Mitchell has previous head coaching experience with the Toronto Raptors and took the job as Saunders' top assistant with the hopes of parlaying it into another head coaching job down the road.

The Timberwolves also were without two players, Chase Budinger and Robbie Hummel, because they were out sick. Budinger missed his second straight game.

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