MIAMI Chris Bosh was talking Sunday night and nobody was answering. That's the way his teammates like it.
You see, the Miami forward speaks to himself during games. And one of the apparent problems during his recent slump was he hadn't been chattering enough.
"Somebody said I wasn't talking to myself when we played in Chicago," Bosh said, referring to Wednesday's loss and his disastrous 3-of-15 shooting.
So it was Chatty Chris on display in Sunday's 91-81 win over Orlando at AmericanAirlines Arena. He listened to what he was saying, scoring 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting.
"I have conversations all day in a non-crazy way," Bosh said.
As it turns out, this talking to oneself isn't confined to Bosh. Dwyane Wade also admits doing it, and he also heeded his words Sunday, scoring a game-high 31points. He had 18 in the second half, including 14 in the fourth quarter, afterBosh had ruled the first half with 18.
"I get it because I talk to myself sometimes," Wade said of Bosh. "But he's a little more disrespectful himself. But I . . . love it when he's talking to himself because that means he's into it."
Wade wouldn't give examples of what came out of Bosh's mouth, saying it involved "cussing" and that it's a "little weird." Bosh provided the clean version, saying he was telling himself things such as "just get going" and "good shot."
So Bosh also compliments himself at times during games. Whatever he's uttering, Miami forward LeBron James said he's "not saying it quietly."
All of this talking is fine with his teammates if it helps Bosh's game. Since missing three games to attend his grandmother's funeral, Bosh had been mostly pedestrian in the previous six, averaging 14.5 points while shooting 41.5 percent.
"By design," James said of the Heat going to Bosh early Sunday. "Since he came back from the death of his grandmother, he hasn't played to his liking. So it was great to see him get going, (shooting) five for five in the first quarter. We gave him a lot of touches."
The shot Bosh made to open the game wasn't by design. He lost control of the ball, and it went high in the air before hitting the top of the backboard and falling through.
"I felt I had a good shot and I lost it, and I was kind of like, 'Here I go again.' And it went in," said Bosh, who had 12 points in the first quarter, reaching that figure before James finally scored. "I haven't gotten one all year. I thank the basketball gods."
Heat fans also can be thankful that James looked to do everything else when he was struggling on offense. Despite shooting four of 14 for a season-low 14 points, James totaled 12 rebounds, seven assists and five steals.
And they can thank the Magic for 20 turnovers and that star center Dwight Howard had little intensity in his second game since pledging loyalty to the Magic for one additional season. Howard had 18 points on 7-of-17 shooting and 11 rebounds. Most surprisingly, the three-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year didn't have a single blocked shot or steal.
Maybe Howard will try talking to himself in his next game. It seems to work.
"Sometimes you have to have conversations with yourself in this crazy sport," said Bosh, whose Heat led by as many as 13 points in the second quarter and fell behind by four midway through the third quarter before regaining control.
All this talking to oneself still didn't help Bosh's rebounding as much as he would have liked. Bosh, who said before the season he wanted to average 10 boards, grabbed just seven Sunday, his eighth straight game of eight or fewer, and his average fell to 7.9.
But Bosh believes he's making strides with his rebounding, saying it's a "piece of the puzzle" to rediscovering his game, and he thinks he's "figured it out." He just wants a few more games to get back in that groove.
For now, Miami is quite content to see Bosh's offense back.
"He's a big part (of the Heat)," Wade said. "We feel like we're unstoppable when CB is playing at a high level."
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter: @christomasson