Saunders leaves Wolves to be with ailing father

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and coach Flip Saunders will not be with the team in Toronto on Wednesday night because he is headed to Cleveland to be with his ailing father.

Saunders informed the team on Tuesday that he would not make the trip. His status for the game on Thursday in New York against the Knicks is uncertain.

Assistant coach Sam Mitchell will fill in for Saunders while he is away. Mitchell coached the Raptors from 2004-2008 and rejoined the Wolves as an assistant this season.

The Timberwolves have lost nine of their last 10 games while enduring a litany of injuries. They played the previous two games with only eight players available.

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