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Vegas Drops Heat-Knicks Line Five Points Without James, Wade

NBA Player LeBron James
LeBron James of the Miami Heat gets stretched prior to the start of a game on March 27, 2013 in Chicago. Photographer: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

April 2 (Bloomberg) -- LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat will sit out tonight’s home game against the New York Knicks because of leg injuries, and Las Vegas oddsmakers have adjusted the betting line by five points.

The Heat are now listed as 2 1/2-point favorites without their top two scorers for the matchup of National Basketball Association division leaders. Miami had been favored by 7 1/2 points, according to the Las Vegas Hotel’s Super Book.

James, who has a strained right hamstring, and Wade, who has a sprained right ankle, were ruled out after missing this morning’s shoot-around. Mario Chalmers also won’t play tonight due to a right ankle sprain, the Heat said in a Twitter post.

The Knicks (46-26) take an eight-game winning streak into tonight’s game in Miami against the Heat, who lead the NBA with a 58-15 record and have won 29 of their past 30 games. Miami has opened an 11-game lead over the Indiana Pacers for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, with the Knicks another half-game back in the third spot.

James, Wade and Chalmers also missed Miami’s March 31 game against the San Antonio Spurs. With the Heat on the road for that matchup, the betting line adjustment was more significant, as the Spurs became 9 1/2-point favorites after the spread opened eight points less, at 1 1/2. Miami won 88-86 as Chris Bosh hit a winning 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining.

“Returning home off the win lessened the effect a few points,” LVH Super Book assistant manager Jeff Sherman said in an e-mail. The Heat have a 32-3 home record this season.

James is averaging a team-leading 26.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.3 assists this season, while Wade is second with 21.3 points a game. Chalmers is averaging 8.5 points and 3.4 assists.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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