MIAMI - The last time Heat forward Chris Bosh was forced into the role of leading man with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade sidelined with injuries, he responded by guiding Miami to arguably it's most thrilling victory of the season.
Bosh could again face that challenge Thursday night with two-thirds of the Heat's Big 3 ailing as the Los Angeles Lakers visit AmericanAirlines Arena.
James was sent home by the team during the morning shootaround because of flu-like symptoms and is questionable for the game. The Heat will be without Wade for the second consecutive game, and fifth time this season, as he continues to recover from a slew of lower-leg injuries that include a sprained right ankle.
James has been under the weather since the Heat returned from a five-game road trip last week that ended in Denver. Despite the illness, James shook off a sluggish start in Tuesday's win against San Antonio and finished with 33 points in 35 minutes.
Bosh is prepared to carry the additional load if James either can't play or is limited against the Lakers.
"The show still goes on," Bosh said after Miami's shootaround. "We've been in this situation before, and we won the next game. We just have to do our job and do what we're supposed to do."
When Wade and James sat out Jan. 5 to start that five-game trip against the Atlanta Hawks, Bosh stepped to the forefront with 33 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and two blocks to lead the Heat to a 116-109 victory in triple overtime.
With 7-footers Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, the Lakers present an even bigger challenge - literally - against a Heat team that is undersized in the front court. But Bosh could have help down low to neutralize some of the Lakers' size advantage, considering the possibility that Heat center Eddy Curry could make his season debut.
"We're still going to expect to win," Bosh said. "We had a good shootaround and prepared well this morning."