Heat's LeBron James (back spasms) out vs. Celtics

Wednesday March 19th, 2014

(Joe Murphy/Getty Images)LeBron James will sit out on Wednesday with back spasms. (Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

LeBron James will sit out the Heat's Wednesday night game against the Celtics in Boston with back spasms.

The four-time MVP has missed just two games previously this year: a Dec. 28 victory over the Blazers due to a groin injury and a Feb. 23 victory over the Bulls after he suffered a broken nose.

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.

Heat center Greg Oden will also be given the night off against the Celtics. Michael Beasley will start in place of James and Udonis Haslem will start in place of Oden for Miami.

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.

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