Heat's LeBron James (back spasms) out vs. Celtics
Miami is on the second night of a road-road, back-to-back following a 100-96 victory over Cleveland on Tuesday. In that contest, James finished with a game-high 43 points (on 14-for-19 shooting), six rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals in 42 minutes.
With less than a month to go in the 2013-14 regular season and a top-two seed in the Eastern Conference all but wrapped up, Miami could soon be approaching the point where it's time to ramp up the strategic resting of their players in advance of the postseason. The decision to sit out on Wednesday theoretically gives James two full days of rest before the Heat host the Grizzlies on Friday.
Entering Wednesday's action, Miami (49-19) trails Indiana (50-17) by three games for the No. 1 seed in the East. Boston (22-46) sits 10 games back of No. 8 seed Atlanta and will soon be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
The Heat are attempting to become the first time since the 1980s Celtics to advance to four consecutive Finals while also trying to become the first team since the early-2000s Lakers to win three straight NBA championships.James, 29, is averaging 27 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.6 steals in 37.6 minutes per game this season.