Chris Bosh on the bench.

Miami Heat players praise the influence of Chris Bosh during game one

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Kyle Lowry's buzzer beater caused all sorts of problems for the Miami Heat. You may not have known it having seen the final score, but the players were stunned into complete silence by the half-court shot that levelled the game.

As the tie headed into overtime, the Heat roster was quiet; nobody knew what to say, except for one man. Chris Bosh, who is out for the remainder of the season and has not played since the All-Star break, showed his worth to the franchise without suiting up. 

When Miami could quite easily have gone into their shells and surrendered game one to the Toronto Raptors, the forward offered some words of wisdom on the pine that helped his teammates secure the win. 

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Joe Johnson, who joined the Florida-based franchise earlier in the season but is yet to share the floor with Bosh, via the Miami Herald, said: “Everybody was quiet except C.B. 

"C.B. was telling us, ‘Man, this (bleep) ain’t over. We got to keep grinding. We got five minutes to win this game.’ We came out and responded. We got a bucket right off the bat.

“Matter of fact, we went up six quick. We just stayed poised, man. Obviously, it was disheartening. I was just thinking, ‘Damn, he would make this against us.’ I always think the worst in those situations.”

Johnson was not the only Heat player who praised the impact of the veteran. Goran Dragic, who ended the night with a game-high 26 points, explained how Bosh tried to turn the disappointment into positivity. 

He said: “I was sitting next to Chris. He said, ‘Look, (Lowry) made an unbelievable shot. Everybody put their heads up. You’re in the first game of the playoffs, you’re in a hostile environment, we’re gonna play overtime. If somebody gives us that before the game, we would sign it immediately.’

"But of course, when you’re up nine points. But he tried to twist that in a positive way, and I think that helps a lot.”

The influence of Bosh in game one could prove vital for the Heat moving forward in the series. Game two takes place at 1 a.m. (UK time) on Friday and a 2-0 lead would leave Toronto with a mountain to climb.

However, if you had offered the Heat the chance to return home after a split, they would have snapped your hand off. 

Miami Heat v Toronto Raptors - Game One

With Kyle Lowry struggling for form, Toronto are a shadow of their usual selves. It offers Miami the chance to capitalise while the point guard is struggling to find his rhythm. 

The second instalment of this Eastern Conference semifinal series will be pivotal.

Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Toronto Raptors
Atlantic Division
Miami Heat
Chris Bosh

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