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Houston Rockets’ McHale Takes Leave of Absence for Family Matter

Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale is taking an immediate leave of absence to deal with a family matter, the National Basketball Association team said.

Assistant coach Kelvin Sampson won his first game last night as he substituted for McHale, 54, who is coaching his second season with Houston. The Rockets (3-3) defeated the Detroit Pistons (0-7) 96-82 on their home court at Toyota Center.

“Kevin is a devoted family man who is needed back home in Minnesota at the moment,” said Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey in a statement on the team’s website. “The Rockets organization will keep Kevin and his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

Morey didn’t disclose the reason for McHale’s departure. No date has been set for the coach’s return.

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