Howard takes another step...Ex-Pistons coach Butcher dead at76UNDATED (AP) - Dwight Howard has been cleared for limited five-on-five scrimmages with the Los Angeles Lakers in his latest step back from offseason surgery. He had participated in every other aspect of the Lakers' practices during training camp except full-court contact.
The six-time All-Star center had surgery on his back last spring.
In other NBA news:
- Donnie Butcher, who played five seasons in the NBA and later coached the Detroit Pistons, has died. He was 76. Butcher averaged 6.1 points in 279 games with the Pistons and New York Knicks. He became Detroit's coach late in the 1966-67 season, replacing player-coach Dave DeBusschere. Butcher went 52-60 at the helm. His only full season as coach was 1967-68, and he lead Detroit to the postseason - the team's only playoff appearance in a 10-season span.
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