NBA News Wire

Heat’s James out with back spasms

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BOSTON — Miami Heat forward LeBron James, who scored 43 points the night before, was a late scratch with back spasms for Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Celtics.

The move was made after Miami coach Erik Spoelstra met with reporters before the game.

James’ third absence of the season comes a day after he scored 43 points in 42 minutes during the Heat’s 100-96 victory in Cleveland on Tuesday.

James had been dealing with varying levels of soreness in his back throughout the season.

The Heat have won both their previous games James has missed.

James is averaging 27 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.4 assists this season.

During the pregame session with reporters, James talked about the Heat needing to enter the playoffs as healthy as possible.

“Obviously, none of us is going to be 100 percent going into the playoffs,” James said, per “But it is what it is. That’s the team we are. We’ve played a lot of basketball over the last four years. Guys have to be smart about certain situations and understand that if they can go, then go. But right now, we would rather go into the playoffs with 15 guys (full roster) instead of 13 or 12.”