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NBA notebook: Wade returns to lineup for Heat

Associated Press

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Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade was in the starting lineup Saturday night after missing nine games with a sore left hamstring.

Coach Erik Spoelstra said the Heat’s medical staff cleared Wade to play following a pregame workout.

Miami played the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.

Wade, a 10-time All-Star, missed his 28th game overall as the two-time defending champion Heat beat the Pacers on Friday. His last game was March 26 at Indiana. Wade has averaged 19.2 points, 4.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 51 games.

Spoelstra said he wasn’t sure if Wade will play in the final two games, Monday at Washington and Wednesday at home against Philadelphia.

CUBAN BACKS ANNOUNCER — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is backing his public address announcer after the team had to pay a $25,000 fine because the announcer criticized referee Danny Crawford on Twitter after a recent game.

Cuban said he would be “hypocritical” if he disciplined announcer Sean Heath when his job is to get the crowd riled up the same way Cuban does at times during games. Cuban has been fined more than $1.5 million by the NBA for criticizing refs.

Heath criticized Crawford for not calling goaltending on a shot by Monta Ellis with the score tied late in a loss to Golden State this month. Stephen Curry hit the winning shot at the other end.

The NBA said a day later goaltending should have been called.

WALKER SITS OUT — Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said point guard Kemba Walker sat out Saturday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers because of a groin injury.

Walker was injured in Charlotte’s loss Friday night to the Celtics in Boston.

Clifford says Walker had an MRI that showed no serious problems. He hopes to have Walker back on the floor Monday night when the Bobcats travel to face the Atlanta Hawks.

Walker is averaging 17.8 points and 6.1 assists per game this season for the Bobcats, currently the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.


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