Miami's Dwyane Wade out with thigh bruise

With a week left in the regular season, Miami guard Dwyane Wade is ailing.

Wade was held out of the Heat game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night because of a bruised right thigh, even though it's a critical time for Miami in the Eastern Conference playoff chase. The Heat entered the game tied with Boston for the No. 2 spot in the East.

"He's still very sore," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Couple days of rest, we want to make sure he's as healthy as he can be down the stretch and for the playoffs."

James Jones was in the starting lineup in Wade's usual spot.

Wade is listed as day-to-day. After Wednesday, Miami will have four regular-season games remaining, including what looms as possibly a critical matchup Sunday at home against the Celtics.

Wade was injured in the first half of Miami's win Sunday against the New Jersey Nets. He played in the second half of that game, but needed treatment because of deep soreness Monday and Tuesday. He did not participate in Miami's shootaround practice Wednesday morning, either.

The Heat host Charlotte on Friday.

"If he doesn't feel like he's able to go out there and give 100 percent, then he should take the rest," Heat forward LeBron James said. "I don't think it's about the Boston game, either. I think it's about the playoffs. We want him as close to 100 percent as possible before the playoffs start. If he's ready Friday, he should play. If not, he should sit. If he's ready Sunday, he should play. If not, he should sit then too."

Wade came into Wednesday as the NBA's No. 3 scorer this season, averaging 25.7 points. Wednesday marked the fifth game he has missed this season.