Either way, it still wound up going how the Miami Heat wanted.
Chris Bosh scored 24 points on 9 for 10 shooting - making him 17 for his last 18 from the floor - and LeBron James added 18 points as the Heat rolled past the San Antonio Spurs 113-101 on Sunday, never trailing and leading by as many as 29 points along the way.
Mario Chalmers scored 16 points for Miami, which used Wade as a reserve for the first time since Jan. 6, 2008. Wade - an All-Star starter again this season - had not played in any of Miami’s most recent four games while dealing with ongoing knee rehabilitation, and finished with eight points and five assists in 24 minutes.
Wade said not starting was his idea, and seemed generally pleased with his first game in nine days.
“I’ve only had one practice in a while,” Wade said. “Team was in a good groove. I wanted to work my way into my rhythm.”
“It was just good to have him out there,” Spoelstra said.
Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 23 points. Boris Diaw added 15, Marco Belinelli scored 12 and Tony Parker finished with 11 for the Spurs, who were without three players who played key roles in last year’s Finals. Kawhi Leonard (hand), Danny Green (hand) and Tiago Splitter (shoulder) all remain sidelined for San Antonio (33-11), which lost for just the fourth time in 20 road games.
“Everybody has injuries. You have to deal with them during the season,” said Parker, who jammed a finger Sunday but didn’t seem concerned. “Obviously, it’s hurting us but they’re going to come back. We just have to keep pushing and try to get better.”
The game was tied at 44 late in the first half. Before long, it was a runaway.
Miami closed the second quarter with a 14-6 spurt, outscored San Antonio 33-21 in the third and opened the fourth on a 13-4 run, just in case there was any remaining doubt, which hardly seems likely.
Add it up, and over a 20-minute stretch the two-time defending champs outscored the Spurs 60-31.