Heat | Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh’s struggles continue in Miami Heat’s Game 3 win over Indiana Pacers

 <span class="cutline_leadin">playing through it: </span>Miami’s Chris Bosh, left, fouls Indiana point guard George Hill in the third quarter of Game 3 on Saturday night.
playing through it: Miami’s Chris Bosh, left, fouls Indiana point guard George Hill in the third quarter of Game 3 on Saturday night.


It says in Chris Bosh's bio he's a nine-time All-Star.

But against the Pacers it almost seems like fiction.

Saturday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the struggles continued for the third member of the Heat's Big 3.

He played only 12 minutes through the first three quarters because of foul trouble, drew a technical in the fourth quarter, and finished a miserable 4-of-12 from the field with nine points, four rebounds and a steal.

And yet, the Heat still found a way to win again without him, taking a 2-1 lead in the series with a 99-87 victory.

"Sometimes you get in foul trouble -- even if you don't agree with it. What's done is done. I just have to keep my head, and keep playing," Bosh said. "I want to play better. I want to have great big games and all that stuff. Sometimes it just doesn't happen. You just have to lay in the weeds and wait for your turn."

But Bosh's struggles are hard to ignore. And it's not just offensively. The Pacers front court keeps attacking him and having its way for the most part.

Although the Heat were outscored by only eight points when Bosh was in there for the entire game, that number is a bit deceptive. Before Bosh got back into the game in the fourth quarter, Miami had been outscored by 16 points with him on the court. The Heat trailed by as many as 15 in the first half and took a seven-point lead into the final quarter with Bosh basically a spectator.

Bosh picked up his third foul midway through the second quarter and played only eight minutes and 54 seconds in the first half, going 1-of-5 from the field with a rebound and a turnover. Even the one shot Bosh made — a three-pointer with 9:37 remaining in the second quarter — was sandwiched by forgettable moments.

Before his three, Luis Scola spun past Bosh with ease for an easy finger roll lay-up. And after Bosh’s three, Scola came right back down the court and hit a 20-foot jumper in Bosh's face.

Bosh tried going to the rim a couple minutes later only to get swatted by Ian Mahinmi. Ten seconds after that, Lance Stephenson drew Bosh's third foul with an offensive rebound and stickback, putting the Pacers up 34-20.

“It was tough for him to get into a rhythm,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “The culmination frustration was the technical foul [early in the fourth quarter]. He got himself together after that.”

The fact Bosh struggled against the Pacers is nothing new.

He scored just nine points in Games 1 and 2, went 1-of-9 from three-point range combined in those games and was invisible for the most part on the glass. In four regular season games against Indiana this season, Bosh wasn't much better (11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3-of-14 from three-point range).

Saturday the remedy for Bosh’s absence defensively was Rashard Lewis, who came in and did a nice job handling David West. Lewis played 17 minutes and didn’t score a point. Miami was still plus-21 with Lewis on the court.

The offense Bosh was supposed to provide — spreading the floor with his three-point shooting — was picked up by Ray Allen (16 points, 4 of 4 on three-point shooting), Norris Cole (9 points, 1 of 2 from three) and even Dwyane Wade, who hit a pair of rare three-pointers.

“I was known as an offensive player, a shooter, that was my role early in my career,” Lewis said. “But that’s not my role on this team. As role players we have to defend, rotate and try to make it easier for these guys.

“At the end of the day as long as we come out with the win I’m happy.”

Does Bosh think he might have a breakout 20-point game sometime in this series?

“That's it? Just 20?,” Bosh said with a smile. “I'm not trying to chase it anymore man. Whatever is out there is out there. I just want to keep contributing to this team. And as long as we win, I'm a happy camper.”

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