LeBron might miss game against Lakers
MIAMI — There's a chance the Miami Heat will be without both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Wade is definitely out for a second straight game because of a sprained right ankle. And Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said James was sent home from the morning shootaround because of flu-like symptoms.
"If we're a man short, we got to lace up our boots even tighter," said forward Chris Bosh, who could be the only member of the Big Three to play against the Lakers.
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 since has had a relapse. "He didn't feel good (Wednesday) night," Spoelstra said. "He feels a little bit more like he did two days ago."
It remains to be seen whether James, who said he got ill during Miami's recent five-game trip, will be able go against the Lakers.
"I have no idea," Bosh said. "When I get here (before the game), we'll see."
But Lakers coach Mike Brown, who coached James in Cleveland from 2005-10, anticipates seeing him in uniform. "I expect he's going to play," Brown said. "He's a great player. He could be sick. He could be throwing up. He's going be doing whatever. To me, he's a great player and he's going to perform like great players do. "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, at least 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. James has missed one Jan. 5 at Atlanta, a game Wade also sat out, but Miami was able to win in triple overtime.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson.