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Desperate Rockets visit banged-up Heat

9:36 AM, Apr 22, 2012   |    comments
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(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

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