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Sunday / February 26.

Derrick Rose AWOL During Knicks’ Loss to Pelicans

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Derrick Rose was a no-show for the Knicks’ game with New Orleans on Monday night at Madison Square Garden, which turned out to be an embarrassing 110-96 loss.

Rose later contacted team officials and explained he had returned to Chicago to deal with a family issue, ESPN later reporter via sources.

It remains unclear if Rose will be at practice on Tuesday in Greenburgh, N.Y.

Joakim Noah, Rose’s friend and teammate, said he spoke with Rose “after the game.”

Asked if he would share details of the conversation, Noah said, “No,” adding. “He’s OK, he’s OK.”

He added: “I don’t really want to talk too much about it because I don’t really know what the situation is.”

Noah also said: “Obviously, Derrick’s one of our better players and when he’s not here it’s tough. But I’m just happy that everything’s OK with him.”

Brandon Jennings started in Rose’s absence.

Rose sat out the fourth quarter of the Knicks win over Milwaukee on Friday night, with undrafted rookie Ron Baker playing instead. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek declined to elaborate on the reason for Rose’s absence.

“I’m not going to comment on any of that stuff,” he said. “I’m sure when Derrick comes back, if he’s got any comments he’ll comment on that.”

“We expect him back, sure,” he added. “It’s just a matter of time.”

Hornacek also said: “Everything will become clear later on. We want to respect whatever he’s going through and we’re just not going to comment on it.”

The Knicks (17-21) have lost eight of their last nine games.

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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.