Bosh carries Heat, minus James, past Blazers

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 29, 2013 at 1:02 am •  Published: December 29, 2013
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Chris Bosh made his case: He wanted to go for the win.

So with 0.5 seconds left Saturday night, he sank the 3-pointer that gave Miami a 108-107 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Playing without LeBron James because of injury, the Heat acquiesced to Bosh's wishes on the play that won it.

"My call at the end of the game was much more conservative," coach Erik Spoelstra said. "I drew something up to get him on the move and he said, 'No, I want it for the 3.' So he overruled it and became a prophet."

Bosh finished with a season-high 37 points and added 10 rebounds to hand Portland its third loss at home this season.

Wesley Matthews scored 23 points for the Blazers, who had won seven of eight.

James injured his right groin and tweaked his left ankle Friday night in a 108-103 overtime loss at Sacramento that snapped Miami's six-game winning streak. He stayed in the game and finished with 33 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

The four-time NBA MVP warmed up before Saturday's game but was declared inactive about an hour before the opening tip. Michael Beasley started in his place.

The Blazers held a 94-91 lead halfway through the final quarter, but Bosh hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 96. He made another 3 that brought Heat players on the bench — including James — to their feet as Miami pulled in front 101-98 with 2:03 left.

LaMarcus Aldridge's layup narrowed it to 103-102 with 1:08 to go before Nicolas Batum made all three of his free throws after he was fouled beyond the arc by Dwyane Wade.

Wade dunked to tie it at 105 with 26 seconds left, but the Heat fouled Batum with 7.7 seconds to go and he made both shots, setting up Bosh's 3-pointer when Wade drove right and kicked it back to him well beyond the arc.

Bosh wanted that 3.

"In that situation I wanted to go for the win," Bosh said. "It was just how I felt at the moment. So we kind of changed it where Dwyane had an opportunity downhill and if he got double-teamed I was behind him for the jumper."

Spoelstra praised Bosh for taking the lead in James' absence.

"He was terrific tonight, a true two-way player," the coach said. "He took the challenge for the majority of his minutes on one of the premier players in this league (Aldridge) and then had to shoulder a big-time offensive load. That takes incredible stamina but also the skill set that he put on display tonight on both ends of the court."

Wade called the victory the Heat's first "signature win of the year."

Aldridge, who finished with 22 points, missed a short jumper at the buzzer.



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