ORLANDO -- Dwyane Wade sat out for the second game in a row as he continued to rest a sore right knee.
Wade said he underwent an MRI that returned negative and said the pain in his knee was diminishing.
“It’s just a bruise,” Wade said. “It’s just about understanding when you have something lingering it can affect other parts of your body. You have to be smart about it.
“You have to understand what’s coming down for our team in the next few days. [Sunday] was a good day, and hopefully it will feel better by Wednesday so I can get back on the court.”
Wade said he first took a hit on the knee in the team’s previous home game against Orlando on March 6, then hit it again against the Celtics on March 18.
“It’s something I’ve been dealing with for two weeks,” Wade said. “Some days are good and some are bad. We don’t need to deal with this down the stretch, so I felt like this was the right time.”
Wade, who had offseason surgery on his left knee, missed his sixth game this season overall and said he is hoping the rest will allow him to return for the Heat’s next game against the Bulls — the second of the team’s four-game trip that began Monday against the Magic.
“We want to be proactive and take care of it right now,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He’s been getting treatment and been feeling better each day.”
Wade said he almost sat out against the Pistons on Friday but pressed on.
“Right now, it’s fun playing with these guys,” Wade said. “But we felt these back-to-back games would be the right time to rest it. The pain is kind of going away, and the doctors said it would. I’m not a doctor, but I knew there was nothing seriously wrong with it.”
Mike Miller started for the second game in a row after playing only 28 total minutes during the previous 25 games. Miller played 21 minutes Sunday against the Bobcats and scored six points.
LeBron James was named the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Week on Monday, marking the sixth time he has earned the honor this season. James averaged 30.8 points, 10 assists, 8.8 rebounds, 2.5 steals and two blocks last week in four wins against the Celtics, Cavaliers, Pistons and Bobcats. James recorded his fourth triple-double of the season (25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists) against the Cavaliers.
James has earned the honor 43 times in his career — the most by a player in NBA history. James also has been named the NBA’s Player of the Month four times this season.
Heat president Pat Riley, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers during their NBA-record 33-game winning streak, has remained silent during the Heat’s own historic run.
Heat spokesman Tim Donovan told the media before Monday’s game that Riley is keeping quiet to avoid distracting his team.
“It’s akin to when you don’t want to disrupt a no-hitter or something to that effect,” Donovan said. “Pat is definitely happy for the team and wants them to break the record and go on and win a second championship in a row.”
Wade and James have both been supportive of the University of Miami men’s basketball team this season. But with the Hurricanes facing Wade’s alma mater Marquette on Thursday in the Sweet 16, could the support waver?
“No, I’m excited for coach [ Jim] Larrañaga and [the Hurricanes],” Wade said. “Obviously, I want Marquette to win, though. I’m happy they are back in the Sweet 16 for the third year in a row, but I don’t want them to be satisfied. It should be some good basketball for sure.”