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James, Wade watch as Heat stun Spurs
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On March 31, 2013 @ 10:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
SAN ANTONIO — Pat Riley got even — again.
Or so it seemed.
Just two days after the Miami Heat team president fired a profane missive at Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge in defense of LeBron James, his team rested James, fellow star Dwyane Wade and point guard Mario Chalmers against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday in what was widely seen as a measure of gamesmanship and revenge. The Spurs, to review, sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili home to rest on Nov. 29 rather than take part in the possible NBA Finals preview in Miami and were fined $250,000 by the NBA for doing so.
And then, lo and behold, they won the game, too.
Heat forward Chris Bosh hit a game-winning three-pointer from atop the key with 1.1 seconds left, and Parker missed a floater from the right side at the buzzer in Miami’s 88-86 win. The most unique of circumstances, yet again, prevented the possible NBA Finals preview that so many anticipated, but it was a statement game of different sorts nonetheless.
Bosh made the most of his rare offensive freedom, finishing with 23 points on 9 of 15 shooting. The Heat, who are now three games ahead of the Spurs for the best record in the league, celebrated as if it was a playoff win on the AT&T Center floor afterward.
The Heat denied that their decision to not play their trio had anything to do with the Nov. 29 affair, of course, citing James’ right hamstring strain and right ankle sprains for Wade’s lingering right knee injury when the news was announced approximately two hours before tipoff. Because specific injuries were cited, the NBA is not expected to levy any discipline against the Heat. When asked if this was a response to the Spurs players resting in the previous matchup, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, “I could see where you guys would draw those conclusions, but no.”
Still, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich couldn’t help but feed this same fire that had burned him just a few months before.
“What kind of (expletive) is that?” he told reporters … [For more on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade watch on as Heat stun Spurs, click here.]
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