SAN ANTONIO: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers all sat out the Miami Heat’s game against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night.
James strained his right hamstring in the first half of Friday’s 108-89 victory at New Orleans, according to the Heat. He continued to play despite the injury, however, scoring 36 points in 32 minutes prior to sitting out late in the blowout victory.
Wade injured his right ankle in Miami’s 101-97 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night, which snapped the Heat’s 27-game winning streak. Wade had 17 points and nine assists in 33 minutes Friday against New Orleans.
James and Wade were surprise late scratches while Chalmers did not play Friday in New Orleans and was listed as day-to-day with a sprained right ankle.
Miami (57-15) began the day with a two-game lead over the Spurs (55-17) for the league’s best record and homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.
A win would essentially provide Miami, which won the teams’ other meeting earlier this season, a four-game cushion with nine remaining, given that the Heat also would control any potential head-to-head tiebreaker with San Antonio.
If the Heat lose, the race for homecourt advantage throughout the entirety of the playoffs could turn into a frantic, down-to-the-wire deal.
None of the three injured players were on the bench for the first half Sunday. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra listed injuries as the reason for his stars’ absence.