Despite having an ice pack hugging his right shoulder, LeBron
James insists he’ll be on the court for the Miami Heat’s next
He’s also insisting that the latest defeat for his team wasn’t a
James and the Heat will try to avenge what was possibly their
most embarrassing defeat of the season when they host the
league-worst Washington Wizards on Saturday night.
Miami (14-6) fell 97-95 at home to Golden State on Wednesday.
James was flagrantly fouled by David Lee in the second quarter and
needed ice on his shoulder afterward.
“I’ll be ready by Saturday,” James vowed. “That’s all that
The Heat fell for the third time in five games, but James said
there is not cause for concern after he had 31 points to extend his
run of 20-point efforts to 25 consecutive games – the longest
current streak in the NBA.
“It wasn’t a step back,” James said. “We played well, sometimes
you don’t win all those games you play well.”
Miami fell to 2-2 on a six-game homestand after starting the
season 8-0 at the AmericanAirlines Arena.
“It’s an inordinate amount of time that we spend here at home
and we should be able to take advantage of that,” coach Erik
Spoelstra said. “We haven’t done it quite the way we’ve liked to so
we’ll move onto the next game.”
This homestand began after a surprising 105-101 defeat at
Washington (3-17) on Dec. 4. The Heat wasted a triple-double by
James, who had 26 points, 11 assists and 13 rebounds, while Dwyane
Wade scored 24.
Jordan Crawford scored a team-high 22 points off the bench for
the Wizards, who expect the Heat to want to exact a measure of
“It’s good that we just played them and it’s obviously good for
our guys I think that we won,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. “I
think they know that, they’ve played in this league long enough to
understand that there are games that different teams point to with
what’s happened before.”
The Wizards have actually won three straight over the Heat, but
two victories in April came when James sat out since he was gearing
up for the postseason.
Washington will present a different challenge with two new
starters in its lineup compared to the last meeting. Crawford has
started the last three games at point guard while Martell Webster
is at forward in place of Trevor Ariza, who has been out since he
strained his left calf in the win over the Heat.
Webster may not be as much of a concern to Miami since fellow
swingman Cartier Martin scored a season-high 21 points in Friday’s
102-96 home loss to the Lakers.
“With Trevor being out, he’s been getting minutes and you base
off those minutes, how the game’s flowing,” said Wittman about
Martin. “He’ll have every opportunity again in Miami tomorrow to
come out and do those same things. That’s kind of how I believe in
Washington is 1-9 on the road.