SACRAMENTO – Josh Richardson is the only Heat player to have started and played in every game.
That streak will end tonight in Sacramento.
Richardson, the third-year swingman from Tennessee, injured his left foot Saturday against Washington, played through it Monday in Portland, and now is out as the Heat continue the road trip against the Kings.
Richardson, who played just 16 minutes in Portland (he also was in foul trouble), had just four points on 2-of-6 shooting.
“Going in I thought I could play through it,” Richardson said. “I did a lot of treatment to try and get it better, but once I got moving it still kind of hurt a little bit. I thought it would loosen up. It just never loosened up.”
Additionally, the Heat will be without Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside.
Wade will miss his second game since rejoining the Heat on Feb. 8. He injured the hamstring late in Saturday’s home win against the Wizards and sat out Monday’s loss in Portland. Whiteside will miss his third game since suffering a left hip flexor during Saturday’s shootaround.
Richardson missed 29 games last season, 27 due to various injuries, including 19 with a left foot sprain. This season, he came within a month of playing in all 82.
“I’ve been thinking about that,” he said. “There’s more seasons to play all 82. I’m still going to try to play as many as possible.”
Richardson is not sure how the injury happened and he does not know if he’ll play Friday when the Heat conclude their three-game trip in L.A. against the Lakers.
“I’m just going to feel it out as I go,” he said.
Richardson is averaging 13.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists. He leads the Heat with 33.3 minutes per game. He has started at shooting guard and small forward.
“We’re using him in a lot more ways and different ways,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “But his versatility is something that we always valued, even when we drafted him and what you’re seeing is a player that’s been committed to developing his game and evolving and growing every single year.”
Spoelstra will start his 22nd different lineup. His options are Rodney McGruder, Justise Winslow, Wayne Ellington and Luke Babbitt.
McGruder has assumed many of Wade’s minutes off the bench. McGruder had eight points and three rebounds in 26 minutes in Portland.
Rookie Bam Adebayo has started in Whiteside’s place the last two games, averaging 5.0 points and 8.5 rebounds. He had a tough game Monday against Trailblazers center Jusuf Nurkic, who had 27 points on 12-of-16 shooting and 16 rebounds. Adebayo, meanwhile, missed all but one of his 10 shots.