• Bosh leads LeBron-less Heat over Trail Blazers

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    Isaiah Thomas (white jersey) of the Sacramento Kings drives on Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. AFP PHOTO

    Isaiah Thomas (white jersey) of the Sacramento Kings drives on Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. AFP PHOTO

    PORTLAND: Chris Bosh scored 37 points, including a last-second 3-pointer for the winning basket, and grabbed 10 rebounds on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to lead reigning NBA champion Miami over Portland 108-107.

    The Heat were playing without superstar playmaker LeBron James, the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player, who was benched for the night by coach Erik Spoelstra due to nagging right groin and left ankle injuries.

    James had not missed a prior game of the season but Bosh stepped up to the challenge of his absence, hitting 15-of-26 shots and going 3-for-3 from 3-point range, making them all from beyond the arc in the last 4:05.

    The only other game this year in which Bosh netted more than 30 points was last February at Miami, also against the Trail Blazers.

    A showdown of two of the NBA’s winningest teams came down to the last seconds after Bosh sank a 3-pointer to give the Heat a 101-98 edge and followed two LaMarcus Aldridge free throws with a layup for a 103-100 Miami edge.

    Aldridge followed with a layup and Portland reclaimed the lead after Miami guard Dwyane Wade fouled Nicolas Batum as he attempted a 3-pointer and the French forward sank all three free throws.

    After Wade pulled Miami level with a dunk, it was Ray Allen who was whistled for a foul on Batum, who put the Trail Blazers ahead 107-105 on two free throws with seven seconds remaining, setting the stage for Bosh’s decisive 3-pointer with less than a second to play.

    Aldridge missed a desperation tip-in attempt at the final buzzer.

    Wade added 16 points and seven assists for Miami, 23-7, while Michael Beasley added 12 points and Norris Cole came off the bench to score 11. Mario Chalmers had nine points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Heat.

    Wesley Matthews led Portland, 24-6, with 23 points while Aldridge contributed 22 points and seven rebounds. Robin Lopez had 17 points while Damian Lillard added 16 and Batum finished with 11 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three blocked shots.

    AFP

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