Manu Ginobili will be missing from a rematch against the Miami Heat in San Antonio on Sunday, but it won't be at the behest of coach Gregg Popovich -- this time.

Ginobili strained a hamstring early in a win over the Clippers on Friday. Popovich said he didn't know how long Ginobili might be out, indicating it could be until the playoffs.

"It's more than days (until he returns), it's more like weeks, unfortunately," Popovich said. "It's a huge blow for us."

Before the Spurs last faced the Heat in November, Popovich, citing a desire to rest his best players at the end of a long road trip, sent Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Danny Green home before a 105-100 loss at Miami, resulting in a $250,000 fine.

The Heat (57-15) enter Sunday night's contest with a two-game lead in the NBA standings over the Spurs (55-17). A win would essentially provide Miami a four-game cushion with nine remaining, given that the Heat also would control any potential head-to-head tiebreaker with San Antonio.

But the Heat also will be short-handed.

Hours before tip-off, they announced that forward LeBron James (hamstring), guard Dwyane Wade (ankle) and guard Mario Chalmers (ankle) will sit out Sunday night's game.

Was sitting James and Wade a calculated response from the Heat for what the Spurs did in November?