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Posey plays in Heat loss a day after DUI arrest

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Miami forward James Posey played in the
Heat's 92-82 loss to Charlotte Tuesday night, one day after he was
arrested and charged with DUI in Miami Beach.

James Posey Posey

Posey did not start, but had five points and six rebounds in 26
minutes.

Heat coach Pat Riley said after gathering facts on the incident,
he decided to let the case go through the legal system before
handing down any suspension.

"Based on how all the facts came back to us, our conversations
with the league and NBA security, we'll support our player until
there's due process," Riley said. "That's what this is about."

But Riley was also critical of Posey for the late-night arrest
after a disappointing loss to the Bobcats and hours before a
morning practice.

"I don't condone at all being out at 4:30 in the morning or
whatever it was, and you've got a practice at 10. That's
unprofessional," Riley said. "I think I take on the pain of all
my players, because when we lose, I go home and I don't sleep."

Posey declined to discuss the incident after the game, but
confirmed he had a meeting with Riley.

"I dealt with the people I needed to, which were my family and
the Heat organization," Posey said. "That's just my approach to
it. I'm still going to go out there and play hard."

Posey, who was released from jail in Miami-Dade County on Monday
afternoon after posting $1,000 bond, issued an apology through the
team Monday night, yet also denied the charge.

"Please know that I was neither intoxicated nor was I driving
at the time," Posey said.

Posey, who had been starting, entered the game late in the first
quarter. He shot 1-for-3 from the field and made both of his free
throws.

"As far as affecting me tonight, it didn't affect me at all,"
Posey said. "I went out there and played hard. Just as a team, we
didn't play well together."

Posey was arrested after police said he was pulled over for
stopping in the middle of a double-lane road.

According to police, Posey was talking to occupants of other
vehicles and pedestrians. Posey displayed "bloodshot eyes, slurred
speech and an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath," the
police report said.

Even with Posey on the trip, the Heat were not at full strength
Tuesday.

Center Shaquille O'Neal was excused from the trip so he could go
to Newark, N.J., and attend services for his paternal grandfather,
who died April 3.

O'Neal intends to be back with the Heat on Wednesday night, when
they host the Washington Wizards.

The team also announced guard Gary Payton would miss up to three
weeks with a torn calf muscle, and forward Udonis Haslem was
inactive with a groin injury.