James leads Heat to NBA title
LeBron James hugs Dywane Wade Thursday night as the finals seconds tick off the clock.
June 22nd, 2012
12:18 AM ET

James leads Heat to NBA title

The Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 Thursday night in Miami to win the NBA championship in five games.

League MVP LeBron James scored 26 points, and had 11 rebounds and 13 assists for Miami. Chris Bosh scored 24 points and Dwyane Wade 20 for the Heat.

Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant led all scorers with 32 points.

Photos: NBA Finals Game 5

It was James' first title since signing with the Heat as a free agent in 2010. James won two MVP awards over seven seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers but no NBA titles. James was drafted by Cleveland out of high school in nearby Akron, Ohio.

SI: LeBron earns validation, place in history with first championship

"This is a dream come true for me. This is definitely when it pays off," James said after the game. James was named the series MVP.

The Heat lost last year's finals to the Dallas Mavericks.

"We had to go through last year," Wade said after the game, according to NBA.com. "As much as it hurt, we had to experience it to get here, this season."

The Heat, who won four games straight to win the best-of-seven series, took a lead early in the game and never let up, leading by 25 points in the final minutes of the third quarter.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said his young team will learn from the finals experience.

"I think when you play against the best, you learn. You don't get better by playing bad teams," Brooks said. "We've played against the best three teams in the last few years and we've learned."

Durant had a game-high 32 points but said losing in the finals is the hardest thing he and his team have been through.

SI: Finals failure will prove necessary for Durant, Thunder's development

"It's tough, that's the only way to explain it. As a whole I'm proud of the guys for how we've fought all season," Durant said. "I wouldn't want to play for anyone else or any other city."

soundoff (429 Responses)
  1. Gonz

    LeBron critics ...time to choke!

    June 22, 2012 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Kosen Rufu

      ...but enough about Cleveland...(drum roll)

      June 22, 2012 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Elephantix

      Not sure. The refs' work in this series leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Enough to keep me from saying "Lebron earned it." It's unfortunate to see flopping and scowling at the official on almost every play being rewarded and makes me look forward to seeing classy players play again next season (read: not the Heat).

      June 22, 2012 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
    • realmike

      No need to "choke". Just means the young finally grew up. Nice to see.

      June 22, 2012 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Ted Striker

      Bosh carried him

      June 22, 2012 at 5:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kosen Rufu

    Congratulations to the Miami Heat. Don't worry, Lebron. The Thunder shall return....

    June 22, 2012 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy

      Return to Seattle where they belong?

      June 22, 2012 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. Hope

    Alright!

    Thunder has nothing to hang their heads, keep it up! There's always next year and you got there... up on the UP!

    😀

    June 22, 2012 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • jjoonnyy

      Lebron is from Cleveland...so he's used to hearing next year

      June 22, 2012 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. Robin

    You got your ring...Was it worth the sacrifice? Just saying!

    June 22, 2012 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Annoyed

      Unanimous: "HELL YEAH F*kin RIGHT"

      June 22, 2012 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
    • darlingtonpcrepair

      AB....... SO....... LUTELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 22, 2012 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
    • BeOriginal

      Ha ha...'just saying'?? Sounds like you're asking?! Work on you English son..

      June 22, 2012 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      It wasn't a sacrifice. It was a decision. GO HEAT!!!!!

      June 22, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. LT

    Who cares??? It wasn't a full season anyway so there should be a big fat *asterisk* next to the year of this season.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      you do realize that the lockout makes it a more grueling season right? the wear and tear is greater..

      June 22, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      Totally afree!

      June 22, 2012 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. mary

    Hahahaha i love how haters keep o hating bc they were proven wrong. Suck it clevelanddd

    June 22, 2012 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Ted Striker

      That's right Mary, Chris Bosh proved us wrong !

      June 22, 2012 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. iBod

    Oklahoma City's worst loss of the entire playoffs. You can't just sit on that and take it for what it was...That does NOT just happen. They didn't "give up"...It was very clear something was bothering the players, and they couldn't even catch up. The star players for Thunder didn't even play the last few minutes. I'd beg for an investigation, but I know that won't happen. It seemed as though OKC Coach did not even care. It seemed like Coach yielded to LeBron. The play calling by him was terrible and the foul calling by the referees were terrible that entire second half. It wasn't a new Heat team, but it was a different Thunder team, and that angered me.

    Too fishy. I won't say Bron Bron earned it. He didn't. He really didn't.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
    • darlingtonpcrepair

      you're crazy... .bad calls both ways all game.... LeBron earned it... and you've earned the right to hate it all the more so.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
    • brian

      Oh come on Miami played lights out all night . Give credit where credit is due or are you just so blinded by hatred that you couldn't see ?

      June 22, 2012 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron K.

      It kills me when people say LeBron didn't earn it in this game. Can you say Triple-Double? Actually he has been doing it all season & in the playoffs. Of course, always blame the refs. This is nothing new in the NBA. The Thunder just couldn't get it done. When you lose four straight after winning the first game, it wasn't meant' to be for them.

      June 22, 2012 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
    • iBod

      Why don't you all watch the tape. That performance was terrible and their setup on the court was awkward throughout. If you watched instead of glorified LeBron the whole time, you would have been thinking what I was - there was no real play calling for them. Add in the terrible calls by the refs. A deficit that huge by OKC is very unusual.

      As for LeBron earning his ring...He was in search of a Championship, and he needed help to get one. Champions don't need help; but Champions can help the ambitious. Wade was the perfect choice, and Bosh was the third wheel. You can't make this stuff up. LeBron James is not a Champion. LeBron James is a show. This was a fixed series the moment the series landed in Miami. Watch the tapes. Watch the foul calling. Pretty clear if you just open your eyes and watch it without picking a side.

      June 22, 2012 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
    • John Frankie Deleo

      An investigation will happen. I had a vision about these finals. I knew after the second game that the heat would win in 5, and what I saw in my dream, what followed was not pretty. I'll put it like this, this win might mark the beginning of the end of the NBA as we know it.

      Somebody is going to come forward and expose the corruption in the NBA playoffs this year. And it's going to be staggering.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Basketball Fan

      Yep. It was a conspiracy for Mike Miller to come off the bench and nail seven three pointers. You're reaching.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. darlingtonpcrepair

    LOL AT ALL YOU LeBRON HATERS!!!!! EAT YOUR WORDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MIAMI FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS!!!!!

    June 22, 2012 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. damon washington

    Unreal that they don't show what Labron did before the NBA. I played football for the Giants! I'm the man! To all of you San Diego suckas...WUTANG!!!!

    June 22, 2012 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. David

    This is not basketball. It's football without pads. Pushing, palming the ball, traveling, hand checks that are more like blocking...call it what you want, just don't call it basketball.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. JUGGERNAUT

    GOOD JOB LEBRON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 22, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bill

    The Heat are the Better team. LeBron and the whole team did it. The heck with the naysayers!!! GO HEAT!!

    June 22, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. winstonsmith

    Oklahoma blew it... yes, some bad calls, but on both ends. The Heat wanted it more, and it showed.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. Raider

    Congrats to Lebron and the Miami Heat.

    Lebron should take a picture of the Championship trophy and send it to Dan Gilbert so that he will know what one looks like.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. The greatest team of all time!

    NBA set it up that way so people would stop making fun of Lebron.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
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