Wade starts for Heat after suffering flu symptoms

MIAMI -- Heat guard Dwyane Wade was briefly hospitalized Friday with what the team called flu symptoms, yet he started Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals against Detroit.

Wade was dehydrated, missed the team's morning shootaround, and was treated with intravenous fluids at a South Florida hospital. But he felt better at the arena Friday night, much to the relief of Heat coach Pat Riley, who could make jokes about the situation 90 minutes before tip-off.

"We just took him out of the ambulance. We felt that I needed to go over the game plan with him," Riley said, smiling a bit. "He's fine. We've already talked and he's replenished. He's ready. He's ready to play."

Wade was with the team for warm-ups, acknowledged a few well-wishers and looked fine as he completed his pregame routine of lay-ups and jump shots.

"I'm going to assume that he's going to be 100 percent," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said.

It's the second straight year Wade's health has been a major factor entering Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Last season, Wade missed the sixth game of the Miami-Detroit East title series because of a rib injury from Game 5. With Wade sidelined, the Pistons won Game 6 by 25 points; in Game 7 of that series, Wade played but was clearly laboring in Miami's season-ending loss at home.

"If the guy misses, you're not going to replace him," Riley said. "But the point is, he's going to be there tonight."

Wade is averaging a team-best 29.2 points on 66 percent shooting in the first five games against the Pistons. For the playoffs, Wade is averaging 27 points for Miami -- which could advance to the NBA Finals for the first time Friday by beating the Pistons.

All along, Riley had insisted his leading scorer would be ready by game time Friday night.

"There ain't no Plan B," Riley said.