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Wade needed knee drained to play Game 7 of Finals

Sunday - 6/23/2013, 4:00pm  ET

The Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade speaks during the post game news conference following Game 7 of the NBA basketball championship game San Antonio Spurs, Friday, June 21, 2013, in Miami. The Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 to win their second straight NBA championship. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

TIM REYNOLDS
AP Basketball Writer

MIAMI (AP) -- Dwyane Wade's knee problems were more troublesome during the playoffs than he ever acknowledged.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Wade revealed Saturday that his right knee pained him so much that he contemplated asking to play limited minutes in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, and that his left knee was drained and required about eight hours of game-day therapy just so he could play in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

"I went through a lot," said Wade, who's now a three-time NBA champion. "But I'm at peace now."

Wade also received platelet-rich plasma therapy late in the regular season to combat three bone bruises around his right knee, which was his biggest source of frustration and pain during the playoffs. Wade said two of the bruises healed, but a third -- directly under the kneecap -- remained a big problem, especially since that area was also affected by tendinitis.

Wade underwent an MRI to rule out additional problems during the East finals against Indiana, and said he was driving into a meeting with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra before Game 7 of that series -- not long after saying in the immediate aftermath of the Game 6 loss to the Pacers that he needed the ball more -- to tell him that he felt he should only play short minutes because his ineffectiveness was hurting the team.

Spoelstra had other ideas, and Wade decided to scrap his plan.

"I felt like if I was going to be playing the way I was playing, and hurting the way I was hurting, I wasn't going to be able to help us move on to the next round," Wade said. "I was going to say play me short minutes only, and give Mike Miller and guys other opportunities. But I came into the meeting, and all Spo was about was giving me more opportunities and getting me ways to be more successful. So I was like, 'Well, changed my mind.'"

Following the MRI that was done late in the Indiana series, Wade said the team's athletic trainers amended his treatment plan slightly, and he started seeing immediate improvement. He scored 21 points in the East-clincher against the Pacers, then scored a total of 57 points -- by far his best two-game stretch of the playoffs -- in Games 4 and 5 of the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.

But early in Game 6 of the title series, Wade's collided with the Spurs' Manu Ginobili. Before long, Wade's surgically repaired left knee, which kept him out of last summer's London Olympics, had swollen up "like a coconut."

He needed treatment during the game, even missing the start of the second half. Wade got a large amount of fluid drained from the knee on Wednesday, then got more than three hours of treatment at the arena Thursday morning and about 4
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