Around the NBA

SUNS: Shaquille O'Neal practiced with the team for the first time, showing no sign of the hip injury that has sidelined him since Jan. 21.

"It was different. It was very intense," he said after the one-hour workout. "I learned a lot."

Phoenix has two games before the All-Star break -- at Golden State on Wednesday night and at home against Dallas on Thursday.

RAPTORS: Coach Sam Mitchell is taking a leave of absence so he can fly home to Atlanta following the death of his father-in-law.

A team spokesman said that Mitchell left Toronto and will not rejoin the Raptors until after the All-Star break. Assistant coach Mike Evans took charge of the team for Monday's game.

HARD TIMES: Former star Latrell Sprewell 's home is up for foreclosure and his yacht sold at auction to help pay off the $1.3 million he owes on the boat, according to court filings.

RBS Citizens NA, or Citizens Bank, filed a foreclosure suit last week in Milwaukee County for the $405,000 home Sprewell bought in the Milwaukee suburb of River Hills in 1994.

In court documents, the bank said Sprewell owed $295,138 in outstanding payments plus interest.

Sprewell hasn't played professional basketball since turning down the $21 million extension from the Timberwolves during the 2004-05 season. He was making $14.6 million at the time.



As uneven as the Hawks have been this season, one thing has remained constant: Losing to the Pistons.

Detroit will be going for a sweep of the season series tonight against the Hawks at Philips Arena.

The Pistons, who own the second-best record in the league, are 3-0 against Atlanta this season.

The Pistons have won twice at home in the series -- 92-91 on Nov. 4 and 91-81 on Dec. 14 -- and once already in Atlanta. They took that game 106-95 on Dec. 4.

NEXT: vs. Detroit Pistons

WHEN: 7 tonight

TV: SportSouth

RECORD: 21-26



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