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SAN ANTONIO -- Miami Heat forward LeBron James, guard Dwyane Wade and guard Mario Chalmers sat out Sunday night's 88-86 victory against the San Antonio Spurs.
A Heat official said James suffered a right hamstring strain in the first half of Friday's game against the New Orleans Hornets, but played through it until he sat out the fourth quarter of Miami's blowout win. Wade hurt his right ankle in Wednesday's loss to the Chicago Bulls, but did not sit out Friday. Chalmers sat out Friday's game with a sprained right ankle.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sent forward Tim Duncan, guard Manu Ginobili, guard Tony Parker and forward Danny Green home on a commercial flight before playing the Heat on Nov. 19. The Spurs' organization received a $250,000 fine from the league office for the move. The Heat won that game, 105-100.
Was sitting James and Wade on Sunday night a calculated response from the Heat?
"I could see how you guys can draw that conclusion, but no," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said before the game.
Popovich pretended to be stunned by the news.
"What kind of s--- is that?" the Spurs coach said after stepping a few feet backward in mock astonishment. "Are you kidding me? Who would think of something like that? That's below the belt. There's no place for that."The showdown between the top two teams in the league was a hot ticket in San Antonio. StubHub sold 2,800 tickets to the game, with the average price being around $138.
The Heat started guards Norris Cole and Mike Miller alongside forwards Rashard Lewis, Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem against the Spurs.
James, Wade and Chalmers are day to day, according to the Heat. They will be re-evaluated on Monday. The Heat next play Tuesday against the New York Knicks.
San Antonio, meanwhile, was without Ginobili on Sunday night. He strained a hamstring early in a win against the Clippers on Friday. Popovich said he didn't know how long Ginobili might be out, indicating it could be until the playoffs.Information from ESPN Sports Business Insider Darren Rovell was used in this report.