With LeBron James sitting out, it was believed that it would put a damper on the anticipated clash between the Miami Heat and the Portland Trail Blazers, the hottest team in the NBA tied for the league’s best record.
It was up to the Heat’s ‘Big Two’ plus the supporting cast to lead the way. While Dwyane Wade struggled with his shot, needing 19 shots to score 16 points, Chris Bosh assumed the role of the Heat’s absurdly efficient star, finishing with 37 points on 15-of-26 shooting and 10 rebounds.
He also hit 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, with each three coming in the final four minutes, but none bigger than the final one.
Down by two and with only seven seconds left to get a shot up, Wade drove in and attracted the defense of Robin Lopez and LaMarcus Aldridge to the rim, where he then kicked it out after seeing they were completely committed to him.
The pass went to a wide-open Bosh, who stood a good two feet beyond the three-point line, ignored the closeouts of Mo Williams and Damian Lillard, and dropped a bomb that scraped the rafters to give the Heat a 108-107 lead with .5 left.
LaMarcus Aldridge’s alley-oop attempt at the buzzer came up long. Aldridge, who has been recently argued as the league’s best power forward over guys like Bosh, finished with 22 points on 9-of-20 shooting to go with seven rebounds and four assists.
Aldridge and Lopez were eaten alive by Bosh last night on mid-range jumpers and drives to the cup all night, and finished the night being fooled by Wade and keeping all hopes of a strong defensive effort on Bosh on the final play nonexistent.