Fearing he might slip too far out of shape before the start of the playoffs, Dwayne Wade returned to action for the first time in six games against Boston.
Before Friday, Wade hadnt played in a game since March 29.
Im excited to play basketball, Wade said. Its time that I got back on the court. My knee is getting better and talking to the doctors it cant get any worse. Its going to get better over the course of time.
Wade missed time because of soreness in his right knee and ankle. Already feeling pain in his knee, Wade exacerbated an existing injury against the New Orleans Hornets during a fall. Wade had offseason surgery on his left knee, which caused him problems in the 2012 playoffs.
I wanted to get back out there, get in rhythm a little bit and just play, Wade said. The biggest thing is your lungs. You need your lungs more than anything. When it comes to the basketball standpoint of it, it doesnt take that long. Every year, towards the end of the year, Ive had a time to get my body right for the playoffs.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra entered the game with a cap on the number of minutes Wade could play. He finished the game with 11 points in 34 minutes.
We want him to blow it out and get his wind, Spoelstra said of Wade.
The fighting clown finally got a break Friday.
Shane Battier did not play against the Celtics, sitting out for the first time since the Heats double-overtime victory against the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 26. When the Heat began resting players at the end of March, Battier referred to the replacement starters as fighting clowns.
Im part of the cool-kids club now, Battier said of being on the inactive-players list.
Heat forward Udonis Haslem, who was also held out against the Celtics, needs five rebounds to tie Rony Seikaly (1,474) for second on the Heats all-time career list for offensive rebounds.
Haslem has started 58 games this season and is averaging 4.1 rebounds per game.
Although its his lowest rebounding average since his rookie season, Haslems activity rate remains high. He is averaging 10.4 rebounds per 36 minutes.
Haslem missed Wednesdays game against the Wizards but told The Miami Herald that he expected to play on Friday. Instead, Spoelstra and the Heats training staff gave Haslems sore ankle another day of rest.
Haslem leads the Heat in charges (28) despite playing averaging just 18.8 minutes per game. Haslem is the franchise leader in overall rebounds (5,154), which is the fourth highest in NBA/ABA history by an undrafted player. He also leads the Heat in career games played (668).
LeBron James broke the 2,000-point plateau for the season in the second quarter. He was eight points shy of 2,000 entering the game. James has scored more than 2,000 points seven times in his career, or every season except his rookie year and the lockout-shortened season.