Miami Heat forward LeBron James (left) and center Chris Bosh (right) have the night off.
WASHINGTON — Choosing rest for the playoffs over the pursuit of a top seed, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra gave LeBron James and Chris Bosh the night off Monday against the Washington Wizards.
Spoelstra said James was dealing with "the residual of a long season."
"Just where we are right now, he’s dealing with some minor ailments," Spoelstra said. "Nothing that’s significant enough that will keep him out. Same thing with Chris. We made this decision and everyone else is ready to go. Everything is day by day."
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James has made a routine of sitting out the end of the regular season since joining the Heat. He missed the final game in 2011 and the last two games in both 2012 and 2013.
The Heat have been competing with the Indiana Pacers for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but the Pacers trimmed their magic number to one with a win over Oklahoma City on Sunday. Miami could claim first place only with wins over Washington on Monday and Philadelphia on Wednesday, along with a loss by Indiana to Orlando on Wednesday.
The Heat are expected to open their first-round playoff series at home this weekend.