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Injured Wade to miss fifth straight game for Heat

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Associated Press
4/9/2013 12:09:46 PM
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MIAMI -- Dwyane Wade got back on the court with the Miami Heat, if only for a practice.

Wade was ruled out of Tuesday's home game against the Milwaukee Bucks, the fifth straight contest that the All-Star guard will miss while tending to a sprained ankle and bruised knee.

He did, however, feel well enough to participate in Miami's shootaround practice Tuesday morning, and will be evaluated again on Wednesday before the Heat play in Washington.

"He's making progress," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He's getting better."

Heat centre Chris Bosh also was out for Tuesday's game because of flu-like symptoms, and is not expected to travel with Miami for its game at Washington, either. Bosh missed Saturday's game against Philadelphia with knee soreness.

Spoelstra said all other Heat players were expected to be available to play, including reigning NBA MVP LeBron James, who missed three games last week with a right hamstring strain.

James returned to the lineup on Saturday against Philadelphia and experienced some soreness in the leg Sunday and Monday, but said the muscle was responding well to treatment.

"It's getting there," James said.

Miami entered Tuesday with a magic number of two to wrap up the league's best regular-season record, and claim the home-court advantage through the NBA Finals.

Starting with the Bucks game, the Heat had six games remaining before the playoffs start -- likely against Milwaukee.

And James made clear on Tuesday that he won't be appearing in every remaining regular-season game, indicating that when Miami locks up the No. 1 overall seed, he'll likely start taking some time to rest.

When he played with Cleveland, James sat out the final four games of the 2009-10 season, since they were irrelevant to the Cavs' playoff seeding.

"I don't plan on playing these last six, no. Not at all," said James, who has often said he hates missing any game for any reason. "I mean, I want to play, but I'm going to go against myself for the first time in my career. No, probably about the third time in my career. I sat out a few games when we had it all locked up in Cleveland as well, to just try to use those games to get healthy as well. But I don't plan on playing these last six."

Spoelstra said his approach with the lineup going forward is that everyone -- including James -- simply is on a day-to-day basis.

"With the minor injuries that we have with our team, everything has to be day-to-day," Spoelstra said. "He's ready to go today. A day of rest helped him. And we'll have to see how he feels after this game."

Dwyane Wade (Photo: Issac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Issac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty Images)
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