CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ray Allen missed his first game of the season Wednesday night because of a right shoulder stinger sustained late in the Heat’s Christmas Day win over Oklahoma City.
Allen was hit hard by Kendrick Perkins on a screen and bruised the shoulder. No foul was called on the play. Allen played 22 minutes against the Thunder and scored seven points. Allen was listed as day-to-day after the team made the decision to rest him less than an hour before tipoff against the Bobcats.
Allen, the Heat’s most valuable offseason acquisition, has been clutch off the bench for most of the season, averaging 11.7 points per game and shooting 45.8 percent from three-point range in 25.7 minutes per game this season.
The Heat gave James Jones his most minutes in a game this season, playing him nearly 12 minutes in the first half alone. He played 17:30 minutes total and finished with five points. Jones’ previous high for minutes was seven in a blowout win over the Wizards on Dec. 15.
The Heat also made a roster move before Wednesday’s game when it assigned center Dexter Pittman to Sioux Falls of the NBA Development League.
This will be Pittman’s second stint with Sioux Falls after playing 22 games with the team during part of his rookie season. Pittman, who is in his third season with the Heat, has only appeared in four games this season (averaging 1.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in 3.0 minutes per game) and 37 overall in his career.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the move was intended for Pittman to get more playing time on the court even if it is at the D-League level.
Spoelstra said Pittman will likely spend at least two or three weeks with Sioux Falls, and said the lack of extended amount of practice time during that span motivated the decision.
“We’re excited about it because we’ve been talking about it with him and his agent for two or three weeks now,” Spoelstra said. “He’s looked very good in practices, so this is an opportunity for him to get some real game time for an extended amount of time. When he gets back and gets an opportunity in games [with us], he’ll be in a little bit better rhythm.”
Team leaders such as Dwyane Wade felt the move would be beneficial for Pittman — the Heat’s second-round pick in 2010 — to gain enough experience to eventually make an impact on the team.
“It’s a good thing for him, and he’ll enjoy it,” Wade said. “A guy like him wants to play. It’s not the same, but I remember when I was in high school on varsity as a sophomore and I [was] just practicing and not playing. I told my coach, ‘I get it, but can I play with the sophomores another year until you have a spot for me?’ You work so hard you want to be rewarded. Hopefully, he comes back better.”
Chris Bosh managed to start against the Bobcats despite nearly sustaining another setback in his return to the lineup.
Bosh injured his right eye while going up for a rebound against Russell Westbrook during the second quarter Tuesday. Westbrook accidentally scratched Bosh on the way down.
Bosh said it initially affected his vision, but he was seeing better Wednesday even though the eye still had some visible redness.
Bosh entered the game against Charlotte averaging 24.0 points against the Bobcats — his personal-best against any NBA team.
“It’s not my first scratch, so I know how to maintain it,” Bosh said. “Right after [Tuesday’s] game, I saw a doctor. I was lucky. They didn’t suggest or recommend I wear anything [to protect it]. I’ve never had to wear goggles ever to play.”
Bosh’s voice was still hoarse during a pregame interview with the media, and he said he was still battling the flu-like symptoms that forced him to miss the team’s game against the Jazz last Saturday.
“I’m better, but it’s still kind of coming out of me right now,” Bosh said.