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Wednesday, April 16, 2014
LeBron James, Chris Bosh to miss finale

By Tom Haberstroh

MIAMI -- The regular season is officially over for the reigning MVP.

With the second seed in the Eastern Conference locked up, Miami Heat forward LeBron James and center Chris Bosh will sit out Wednesday's season finale as they host the Philadelphia 76ers.

Heat guard Dwyane Wade, however, will play in his third consecutive game after being sidelined for his previous nine games as part of the team's season-long maintenance program. Wade has missed a total of 28 games this season. Heat backup center Greg Oden is also expected to be activated after sitting out with back soreness and a stomach virus following his last appearance on March 26 against the Indiana Pacers.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra also said that he would rest Heat backup center Chris Andersen and point guard Mario Chalmers on Wednesday.

The NBA announced on Wednesday night that the Heat will open the playoffs against either the Washington Wizards or the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET. The Sunday start would give James and Bosh each a full week of rest before the postseason begins.

Because of the Heat's maintenance schedules, the team's star trio of James, Wade and Bosh have played only one game together since March 27.

The 76ers are trying to wrap up a woeful season on a high note. Beating the Heat on Wednesday would give them their first pair of consecutive victories since early January.

The Heat will likely play the opening round against the seventh-seeded Bobcats on Sunday. The Heat would play the Wizards only if the Wizards lose to the Boston Celtics on the road and the Bobcats beat the Chicago Bulls in Charlotte.