Injury-ravaged Heat won't have Wade against Magic
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Things keep getting worse for the reeling Miami Heat.
"He's sick," Heat coach Pat Riley said shortly before tip-off Wednesday. "He's just really sick. Sick as a dog. Probably sick and tired."
Starting forward Udonis Haslem (left high ankle sprain) also didn't make the trip with Miami, which is already playing without injured centers Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning. O'Neal will miss another week, at least, with a sore hip; Mourning's season ended last month when he tore a knee tendon.
Haslem -- one of Miami's most dependable players since joining the NBA five years ago -- will miss multiple games.
"He's going to be out indefinitely," Riley said.
The injuries, illness and Smush Parker's never-ending stint on the inactive list because of an unresolved legal matter reduced Miami to having 10 players on the trip to Orlando.
"There are still guys out here that have work to do," said Heat center Mark Blount, whose team has lost 16 of its past 17 games. "We are still going to play hard and compete. That's all we can do right now."
Entering Wednesday, Miami is 9-34 this season, a stunning decline for the team that won the 2006 NBA championship.
Since winning that title, the Heat have gone 53-76 -- with injury battles being a constant factor.
"I was looking today just to see how many times they've had their group together," said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy, a former Heat coach and Riley protege. "They just haven't. And when they do, it's so sporadic. ... The injuries, for two years really, have disrupted any chance to get any flow going."
Wade left Miami's 117-87 loss to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday midway through the third quarter, with the Heat in a 35-point hole. He headed into the locker room just before the start of the final period for treatment and rest.
"He has been under the weather the last couple of days," Riley said.
Haslem -- who was the only Miami player to start each of the team's first 43 games -- sprained his ankle when he stepped on someone's foot in the second quarter against the Celtics, who blew out the Heat despite playing without Kevin Garnett (strained abdominal muscle) and Ray Allen (flu).
Haslem left Miami's arena Tuesday night wearing a protective boot.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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