Wizards-Heat Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 20, 2012
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 doesn't matter. When you're playing teams like the Bulls or you get to the finals, stuff like that, the teams are good. They can win anywhere. So it's not really as big a deal as people make it." Heat coach Erik Spoelstra also isn't concerned about the race for the No. 1 seed. "We needed to address our consistency, our identity, make sure that we're playing at a high level going into the postseason," Spoelstra said. "That is, first and foremost, our priority. Obviously the standings are something that we're aware of. And when you have an opportunity to play for it, you do. But in terms of it being bigger than anything ... I think players have the proper perspective about it.'' While Wade has been in and out of the lineup, LeBron James has been a model of consistency in missing only one game. The two-time MVP finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds and six assists Thursday. Forward Chris Bosh has sat out two straight games with what Spoelstra described as "minor bumps and bruises." Miami has two meetings left with Washington (16-46) after winning its sixth in a row in the series, 106-89 on Feb. 10. Wade scored 26 points and Bosh had 24 and 11 boards. The Wizards have won two straight and four of six, beating Milwaukee 121-112 at home Wednesday. Jordan Crawford matched a season high with 32 points despite playing with an injured right ankle. "I was sore but the trainers did a great job preparing me for the game," Crawford said. "I wanted to play." Washington's last three wins have come against playoff teams Orlando and Chicago and playoff hopeful Milwaukee. The Wizards are enjoying the role of spoiler. "I am proud of how these guys came out and really stood up to how these teams are playing," coach Randy Wittman said. "We have a couple more coming up against Miami that will obviously be important games."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Kevin Durant has...RUSSELL MANIA!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Tony Romo likely out 8-10 weeks

Late appeal moves NFL concussion settlement to the Supreme Court

NHL adds meldonium to banned substances list

Report: Chances of Jonathan Papelbon signing ‘non-existent’

Chris Bosh isn’t pleased with the Miami Heat

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL clears players in HGH investigation

NFL execs: Kaepernick 'traitor,' hated as much as Carruth

Kansas FB settling first-team reps with Rock-Paper-Scissors

Report: Vikings trainers saved Bridgewater's 'leg and career'

Baylor WR suspended 3 games for beating his dog

Craig Sager to undergo third bone marrow transplant

2016 offers more lessons for the NFL on domestic violence

Twitch works to highlight gamers with disabilities

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal opens up about worst game of career

The NBA's worst signature shoes

The barren wasteland of available NFL quarterbacks

College football conference breakdown, Week 1

Kevin Owens is the right WWE Champion at the right time

Jake Arrieta almost quit baseball before trade to Cubs

Fred Taylor: NFL doctors never told me about multiple injuries

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2016 offers more lessons for the NFL on domestic violence

Twitch works to highlight gamers with disabilities

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal opens up about the worst game of his career

The NBA's worst signature shoes

The barren wasteland of available NFL quarterbacks

College football conference breakdown, Week 1

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

West-ern Literature: How Kanye's fans find meaning in between the lines

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker