(Sports Network) - The banged-up Miami Heat hope to bounce back from a rare
poor performance on their home floor when they host a Houston Rockets team
with no room for error.
With LeBron James and Chris Bosh already on the sidelines to rest some bumps
and bruises, Dwyane Wade dislocated his left index finger early in Saturday's
86-84 setback to lowly Washington and played less than three minutes.
Nene scored the last four Washington points off assists from John Wall,
including the go-ahead layup with 0.5 seconds left to lift the Wizards.
Mike Miller had 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Miami while Mario
Chalmers also scored 16 and Udonis Haslem added a season-high 15 rebounds but
the Southeast Division champs fell 2 1/2 games behind Chicago for the No. 1
seed in the Eastern Conference with just three games left.
Wade's finger was reset and he was "feeling fine" according to Heat coach Erik
Spoelstra. X-rays were negative.
"We will have to evaluate it each day and see how he responds," said
Spoelstra. "Fortunately it was his left (non-shooting) hand."
Wade, who was playing his second straight game after missing the previous two,
left after playing just 2:40. He got his hand caught up in another player's
jersey and was clearly in pain as trainers worked on him.
James was out for "minor bumps and bruises" while Bosh rested for the third
straight game with "minor ailments" according to Spoelstra, who said the team
was trying to get better before the playoffs.
"Tonight was good for us because we had a chance to play without those guys
and get a rhythm and a feel," said Miami's James Jones. "That's what this game
is all about. It's about rhythm, about getting a feel for your teammates and
knowing their likes and dislikes. Tonight was a growth night for us. We just
didn't get a victory."
The Rockets, meanwhile, kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 99-96 win
over the Golden State Warriors in South Texas on Saturday.
Courtney Lee scored 20 points, while Goran Dragic added 18 points and seven
assists in that one as Houston snapped a six- game slide.
Luis Scola finished with 13 points and five boards for the Rockets, who are a
full game behind Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western
Conference with two games to play. The Jazz beat Orlando in overtime Saturday.
"We let six games go," Lee said of the losing streak. "Some of them we were in
it down the stretch, we should have won them but we made mental mistakes."
Houston has lost four straight to Miami.
The Sports Network