The Miami Heat dropped to 7-8 on the road this season when Mario Chalmers watched his potential game-winning three thump off the backboard to seal a surprise 92-90 win for the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night. Amid the general disappointment about the loss, Chris Bosh -- who scored a game-high 29 points on 13-of-18 shooting -- had no regrets about passing up his own chance at the final shot.
On the chaotic final possession of the game, with the Heat down two points, Bosh set a high screen on Wesley Matthews and then flattened out towards the right elbow as his man helped on LeBron James. LeBron then tossed the ball to Bosh for a pick-and-pop look at an open 20-foot jumper to tie the game. Bosh caught the pass with 3.1 seconds on the clock, but before he could set his feet, a help defender (Damian Lillard) disrupted his rhythm. Bosh thought better of the shot and instead got the ball to a wide-open Mario Chalmers, who came free when Lillard made his rotation. Chalmers badly missed his attempt from the right wing, but head coach Erick Spoelstra liked the approach Bosh took on the final play (via the Sun-Sentinel):
"What I like about that is there was some poise and patience and not a panic," Spoelstra said. "We've come a long way to work to get the best shot at the end of the game. It doesn't matter who gets it. We'll take those shots any day of the week."
Bosh defended his own thought process on the final play as well: "It's real cool to hit a buzzer-beater, but it has to come at the right time. We got the right shot. It would have been a game-winning shot." As for whether he would do it all over again, Bosh noted: "[t]he Wide open 3, as opposed to a contested two. I'll take that every time."
The Heat (23-11) now sit just 0.5 games ahead of the New York Knicks at the top spot in the Eastern Conference.