Posted Apr 3 2012 6:53PM - Updated Apr 3 2012 7:12PM
MIAMI (AP) -- Heat guard Dwyane Wade was inactive for Tuesday night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers because of a sore left knee, leaving his status for a Wednesday showdown against Oklahoma City in some doubt.
Wade banged his knee at some point -- even Heat coach Erik Spoelstra isn't sure when it happened -- at Boston on Sunday. Wade was able to finish that game, plus was on the floor for practice on Monday and a morning shootaround session Tuesday. But little less than two hours before game time, the Heat announced that Wade was sidelined.
"We want to be very smart about it right now," Spoelstra said.
Shane Battier was picked to start in Wade's place, one of two changes to the normal Miami opening lineup. Ronny Turiaf was getting his first start with the Heat, instead of Joel Anthony.
Wade was getting treatment, said Spoelstra, who listed the 2006 NBA finals MVP as "hopeful" to play on Wednesday. The Thunder beat the Heat in Oklahoma City last week and are one of only two teams who entered Tuesday with a better record than Miami.
"It's nothing serious. It's just a bruise," Spoelstra said. "But he is sore and hopefully he is able to make some progress in the next day."
Tuesday marked Wade's 10th missed game this season due to injury. The Heat went 8-1 earlier this season in two stints without Wade, who was dealing with foot and ankle injuries before the All-Star break.
Wade is the NBA's sixth-highest scorer this season, averaging 22.8 points per game. And Spoelstra indicated the rest could do Wade some good - Tuesday's game started a stretch where Miami will play 15 games in 24 days to close the regular season.
"You have to weigh a lot of different things right now, and that's just the reality of the schedule this year," Spoelstra said. "He was sore (Monday) and when you get bruises, sometimes a day later it's a little more stiff. That's the way he felt this morning. ... You don't want to have a minor injury like this turn into something more."
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