LeBron is active for game against Lakers
MIAMI — Despite being sent home from the morning shoot-around because of flulike symptoms, Miami star LeBron James did not miss Thursday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Heat were without guard Dwyane Wade, who sat out his second straight game because of a sprained ankle. But the Heat pronounced James fit before the Lakers game despite having been under the weather.
"LeBron is here,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He will play. . . . He texted me before and after the shoot-around. He really wanted to play. He's a tough guy. It would have taken a lot for him not to play.''
James was noticeably sick Tuesday, but he still was able to score 33 points, including 17 in the third quarter, in a resounding 120-98 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. He appeared to be better after practice Wednesday, but Spoelstra said James then had a relapse.
"He didn't feel good (Wednesday) night," Spoelstra said.
Lakers coach Mike Brown, who coached James in Cleveland from 2005-10, had anticipated after his team’s morning shoot-around that James would play.
"To me, he's a great player, and he's going to perform like great players do," Brown said. "So the flu, the stomach ache, the dizziness, however you want to call it, doesn't affect great players like it does the average human being. I don't expect anything different from him (Thursday night). . . . I think he'll play because he's a great player, and that's what great players do."
As for Wade being out, Lakers swingman Matt Barnes said that's "just one less headache" to worry about.
It will be the fifth game Wade has missed this season. The Heat are 4-0 in the ones he has sat out.
Spoelstra also said center Eddy Curry, who has been out all season because of a hip flexor, would be activated. Curry might play in his first NBA game since Dec. 17, 2009.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson.