Heat Vs. Mavericks: Chris Bosh Comes Through With Game-Winner After Eye Injury

Chris Bosh hasn't had a very good 2011 NBA Finals, and that trend continued through most of Game 3. He had shot just 6-17 from the field and had just three rebounds approaching the final minute of the game. Earlier in the fourth quarter, he passed up an open jumper as the shot clock ran down, which eventually led to a 24-second violation. But all that was forgotten when Bosh nailed a 17-foot jumper with 39.6 seconds left that eventually provided the final margin in an 88-86 Miami Heat victory.

It's hard to say Bosh truly "redeemed himself," since he really just hit a wide open 17-foot jumper that was set up by a great pass by LeBron James and a vicious screen by Udonis Haslem, but it was a big shot nevertheless. It was particularly big because Bosh was battling a really bad eye injury that came when Jason Kidd inadvertently poked him in the first quarter. Bosh stayed down on the floor for two possessions, and when he popped back up and looked OK, most people wrote it off as Bosh acting. But as it turned out, his eye was very swollen, and it probably affected his play.

When asked about it after the game, Bosh wasn't in the mood to play around. Via ESPN's Tom Haberstroh:

How did his eye feel at the time? 

"Open your eye like this," Bosh said after the game, spreading his eye lid open with his left hand. "I'll poke you in it."     

An eye injury can't explain Bosh shooting 31 percent in the series as a whole, but it can explain a lot of what happened in Game 3. The Heat never lost confidence in Bosh, and he rewarded their faith in the game's biggest moment.

For full series coverage, check out our Heat vs. Mavericks hub. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For more on the Mavericks, visit Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.

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