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Miami Heat rest Dwyane Wade, four others in season finale
Closing night proved to be another night of Miami Heat Lite.
With its best-of-seven first-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks opening this weekend, and with Wednesday's season finale against the Detroit Pistons at AmericanAirlines Arena having no impact on its place in the standings, the Heat erred on the side of caution.
In addition to star Dwyane Wade being given a second consecutive night off to recover from the rigors of the season, the Heat also continued without power forward Udonis Haslem (thumb), center Jermaine O'Neal (calf), forward Jamario Moon (calf) and guard Luther Head (hand).
Of the four listed with injuries, only Head, who has a broken left hand, is expected to be unavailable for the playoff opener at Philips Arena.
Coach Erik Spoelstra spoke before Tuesday's loss in Atlanta of getting Moon back into Wednesday's lineup, but then had second thoughts.
"He feels ready to go," Spoelstra said. "He wanted to play last night. He wants to play tonight. We're just going to give him one more day's rest."
Haslem has been shooting and conditioning despite the six stitches in his lacerated right thumb. He said he likely would not have the stitches removed until the day before the playoff opener. He wound up missing the final six games of the season.
Haslem has yet to attempt contact work.
"It's going to be a little sore, but that's to be expected," he said. "I'm not really worried about the soreness right now. We kind of stayed away from the hard pass today. We'll find out more as we continue to progress."
Ira Winderman can be reached at iwinderman@SunSentinel.com.