NBA Notes: Heat's Wade sits with soreness

NBA Notes: Heat's Wade sits with soreness
December 23, 2013, 8:15 pm
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Dwyane Wade sat out the Heat's game on Monday against the Hawks after being named Eastern Conference player of the week. (USA Today Images)

MIAMI -- Dwyane Wade has been ruled out for the Miami Heat's game against the Atlanta Hawks because of mild knee soreness.

The Heat have been giving Wade sporadic breaks this season in an effort to not overly tax his legs. Coach Erik Spoelstra says Wade arrived at the arena Monday night ready and expecting to play, but that the team decided it was best to give him the game off.

Ray Allen is in the starting lineup in Wade's place.

It's been a whirlwind few days for Wade, who got engaged to Gabrielle Union on Saturday and was selected Monday as the Eastern Conference's player of the week. He averaged 26.3 points on 60 percent shooting in a 3-0 week for Miami.

Rockets: Harden out, Lin returns
HOUSTON -- Houston guard James Harden is out for a second straight game for the Rockets against the Mavericks, but Jeremy Lin will play after missing time with back spasms.

Harden, who leads the team in scoring with 23.9 points a game, will sit out Monday night with a sprained left ankle. Lin has missed four games recently with back spasms.

The Rockets are also without guard Patrick Beverley, who has a right hand injury and center Omer Asik, who has missed the last nine games with a right thigh bruise.

Clippers: Barnes fined 25K
NEW YORK -- The NBA has fined Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes for failing to leave the court in a timely manner after he was ejected in the third quarter of Sunday's game against Minnesota.

The league announced the $25,000 penalty on Monday.

Barnes was thrown out with 56.8 seconds left in the period after he was whistled for a flagrant 2 foul against Kevin Love on a drive to the basket. The Clippers went on to a 120-116 overtime victory.

Barnes' foul was downgraded to a flagrant 1 after it was reviewed by the league.

NBA: Rodman mum on meeting North Korean leader
BEIJING -- Former basketball star Dennis Rodman left North Korea on Monday, but he plans to return next month -- even if a sponsor won't be with him.

Rodman's short visit was aimed at finalizing plans to bring 11 other former NBA players to Pyongyang for a Jan. 8 exhibition game marking Kim Jong Un's birthday. The two struck up a friendship when Rodman first traveled to the secretive state earlier this year, but Rodman did not answer questions from the media on whether he had met with Kim this time.

Rodman is the highest profile American to meet Kim since the leader inherited power from his father in late 2011.

He wants to bring the group of players to Pyongyang for the exhibition, but has acknowledged that some of the Americans have been reluctant to come. He held tryouts for the North Korean team during his visit, which began Thursday. He has said he expects to announce the U.S. roster soon, and that he is planning another game in June (see full story).