Erik Spoelstra calls Dwyane Wade’s play in his return from injury ‘very encouraging’

Dwyane Wade made his return from injury Friday vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Dwyane Wade’s seven-point performance in Friday’s loss to the Thunder isn’t one many will remember past this season, but it was one to be encouraged by.

It marked Wade’s return after missing five games with a strained left hamstring. The future Hall of Fame guard didn’t suffer a setback and finished with seven points on 3-of-9 shooting, one rebound and two assists in 20 minutes.

“Very encouraging with those minutes,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who was not at Saturday’s practice because the team said he did not feel well. “He’ll get in better rhythm. He was actually in better rhythm than I anticipated. But he really has been working hard behind the scenes. That doesn’t happen by accident. If you’re doing daily-doubles and really preparing yourself, you can go into a situation like that. He’s been through this many times. But he obviously is going to help settle us, particularly against really good teams on the road. He just gives you a sense of poise and confidence.”

Wade, 36, will continue to play in a reserve role as part of Miami’s strong bench unit. The Heat’s reserves are averaging a league-best 49.8 points per game since the All-Star break.

Since being traded to the Heat from the Cavaliers at the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline, Wade is averaging 13.2 points on 43.0 percent shooting, 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 13 games.

“I felt fine,” Wade said of his first game back from injury after Friday’s loss to the Thunder. “Before I came back, I really thought that I did a lot of things that prepared me to play in the game. So I felt fine. Now it’s just about getting back into game shape and getting into better rhythm, kind of where I was before, before I had the injury.”

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