In the Miami Heat's last eight games, Dwyane Wade has sat out the four against opponents with losing records while playing four times against playoff teams.
If that pattern holds, Wade won't be on the court when the Heat look for a sixth straight win in a home matchup with the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.
Wade has missed 14 games this season with a variety of injuries, with Miami (45-17) winning 13 of them. He sat out recent victories over Detroit, Charlotte, New Jersey and Toronto.
He played against Boston, New York and Chicago twice in that eight-game stretch, returning from a two-game absence to score 18 points in an 83-72 home win over the Bulls on Thursday.
Miami pulled with 1 1/2 games of Chicago for the Eastern Conference's best record. If the Heat win their final four contests and the Bulls lose once, Miami will clinch the top seed.
"I just feel like you have to win on the road, no matter what, if you want to win a championship,'' Wade said. ''So it really does...