Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Heat Rest James, Lose to Allow Pacers to Get East's Top Seed

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Heat Rest James, Lose to Allow Pacers to Get East's Top Seed

Article excerpt

The Miami Heat opted for rest for LeBron James and Chris Bosh over the pursuit of the Eastern Conference's top seed, and the Washington Wizards capitalized in a 114-93 breeze of a game Monday night that clinched the No. 1 seed for the Indiana Pacers.

Trevor Ariza scored 25 points for the Wizards, who shot 59 percent and made 14 3-pointers and remained one game ahead of the Charlotte Bobcats in the race for the East's No. 6 seed. Washington is trying to avoid dropping to seventh so that it can avoid the Heat in the first round of the playoffs when LeBron and Co. will be back.

The Heat began the day still in contention for the top spot, but had to win their last two games and have Indiana lose to Orlando on Wednesday because the Pacers hold the tiebreaker.

Figuring it would be better to be fresh for the postseason, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra sat James and Bosh, saying they were dealing with "the residual of a long season.

"Just where we are right now, (James is) dealing with some minor ailments," Spoelstra said. …

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