POSTED: Jan 23, 2014 8:27 PM ET UPDATED: 2014-01-24
NBA.com news services
Heat guard Dwyane Wade will miss his fourth straight game because of maintenance reasons for his knees. Wade did not participate in the morning shootaround, but did complete a personal workout. Coach Erik Spoelstra said Wade is day-to-day for Sunday's game against the San Antonio Spurs.
Guard Ray Allen will start in place of Wade. The Heat are 6-6 in games without Wade. Last year Miami was 12-2 minus Wade.
Portland is the only team that has used the same starting lineup the entire season. That continues tonight, though small forward Nicolas Batum is hampered by the middle left finger he fractured two weeks ago and reinjured Monday at Houston. "He'll play," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "Hopefully, he's feeling better. He has a different splint. It's something he'll deal with for a long time. Hopefully, he doesn't get it reinjured where there's (additional) structural damage."
Denver's J.J. Hickson, who started at center for Portland last season, is a natural power forward starting at the post for Denver in the absence of injured Javale McGee. "He came in to be our backup power forward, but ... he has earned being a starter for this team," Denver coach Brian Shaw said. "It's not the position he wants to be in, but it's the hand we were dealt. He's done a good job. He's gotten better and better in understanding what we're asking him to do, and he's shown he's a monster on the boards." Hickson is determined not to have the kind of game he had in the teams' first matchup at Denver on Nov. 1, when he was 2 for 13 from the field in a 113-98 loss to the Trail Blazers.