PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An ailing LeBron James sat out Miami's win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night, the first game the Heat star has missed this season.
James injured his right groin Friday night in a 108-103 overtime loss at Sacramento that snapped Miami's six-game winning streak. He stayed in that game and finished with 33 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
James, selected The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year this week, also tweaked his left ankle in the loss.
The four-time NBA MVP warmed up before the game against the Trail Blazers, but was declared inactive about an hour before the opening tip.
"These guys are competitive. They all want to play, but he understood tonight," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "A lot of our guys are Type A competitive so you can't leave the decision to them. We were thinking health first and big picture. He understood. When he went out there he knew he wouldn't be able to push it."
James was replaced in the starting lineup by Michael Beasley, and the Heat edged the Blazers 108-107 on Chris Bosh's go-ahead 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left. Bosh had a season-high 37 points and added a team-high 10 rebounds.
James leads the Heat with an average of 25.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists. He was not available for comment before or after the game.