James, Wade, Chalmers out for Heat against Spurs

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 31, 2013 at 7:09 pm •  Published: March 31, 2013
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None of the three injured players were on the bench for the first half Sunday. Their absence rekindled the controversy surrounding San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich's decision to send Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green home instead of having them play the second game of a back-to-back Nov. 19 in Miami. It was the finale of a six-game road trip, finishing with four games in five days. The Spurs did not give the NBA or Miami prior notice of the players' absences, which led the NBA to fine San Antonio $250,000.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was asked if San Antonio's decision to sit their stars in Miami had an impact on his decision to rest his stars for this game.

"I could see how you guys can draw that conclusion, but no," Spoelstra said before the game.

Unlike Popovich, Spoelstra listed injuries as the reason for his stars' absence, which will likely eliminate the chance of the league fining Miami.

Popovich reacted in mock horror when told James, Wade and Chalmers were out.

"Are you kidding me?," Popovich said in mock astonishment. "Who would think of something like that? That's below the belt. There's no place for that."