Considering all the Miami Heat had working against them Saturday night in Portland, it could have been seen of some sort of consolation had they just managed to make the game against the Trail Blazers competitive.
After all, they confirmed a half-hour so so before tipoff that LeBron James would not play because of groin and ankle injuries, and key backup forward Chris Anderson would sit out his second straight game with back problems.
Throw in that the Heat were tipping off less than 24 hours after losing in overtime to the Kings in Sacramento and that Dwayne Wade would have an off- night shooting would seem to doom the Heat to certain defeat.
Instead, they rallied from a seven-point deficit early in the fourth quarter and beat the Blazers when Chris Bosh swished a long 3-pointer with just half-a-second left, giving the Heat a 108-107 victory. Portland managed to get a lob pass to LaMarcus Aldridge after that, but he overshot his four-foot attempt at the buzzer.
As poorly has they had played down the stretch the previous night, when they lost a four-point lead in the final minute of regulation in the loss to the Kings, the Heat were just the opposite against the Trail Blazers, who came into the game with the best record (24-5) in the Western Conference.
Bosh came up huge with a season-high 37 points, eight of which came over the last couple of minutes. In addition to his game-deciding trey, he also tied it for the first time since the first quarter with a 3-pointer that made it 96-96 with 3:53.
For the game, he was 15-of-26 from the field overall and 3-of-3 on 3-pointers. He also had 10 rebounds and two steals.
He also suggested the final play to coach Erik Spoelstra, going for the potential game-winning 3-pointer instead of a 2-pointer for the tie. Wade took the inbounds pass and drove around defenders on the right side of the lane before flipping the ball back to Bosh.
“Chris was feeling it,” Spoelstra said. “He wanted it. As soon as he said it, I said, ‘Yeah, that makes sense.’ It was much better than what I had planned.”
The win improved the Heat to 2-1 on their current four-game western road swing with the final outing of the trip coming up Monday night in Denver.
They then will have a three-day break before playing three of their next four at home, starting with a visit from Golden State on Thursday night.