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. BigMamma23

    Hey Denise the Bulls never won a Eastern Conference Final after Jordan left read your MJ bible.
    Hey Devosays if you don't care why comment?
    Hey Randy as Snoop Dogg would say "eat a D"
    Congratulations LeBron, sorry Kevin Durant better luck next year.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  2. ColB

    Lebron AND Miami played a great series...so why all the comments about racism and Cleveland? Can't people just enjoy the moment?

    June 22, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. DJF616

    LeBron who?

    June 22, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • EL Calor

      Denial! Admit it ur team SUCKS!

      June 22, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. Aaron

    Just think, If he wins 2 more Championships, he can be compared to Kurt Rambis....

    June 22, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. mary

    Whatever team he's on he is a great player and great players deserve a win.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. Eva

    The season is over .The winner is The Heat, James got his ring, he is a GREAT player. I am glad for the Whole Team. ALL you James haters GET A LIFE, you see it did not stop him for getting a RING>

    June 22, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      You do see that him winning a ring doesnt stop us from hating him? right? Just because he won does NOT mean that we all now have to kiss his butt. He was a Dbag before he won a ring, he is a Dbag after he won a ring. 15 rings would not change that.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  7. Krystal Price

    Give RESPECT where it is do, King James

    June 22, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      Respect is EARNED. Not Given...when he earns my respect, I will give it. Until then, he is the Dbag that turned his back on his fans, because he thought he was bigger than the game. He is not and never will be on the level that Michael Jordan was on.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. Effed

    Humility paid off. 3 great players took a couple of years to play as an ensemble, a team. Nice. Congrats to the heat and the thunder.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. termlimits

    "Mr. Me" finally made it, whooppee!!

    June 22, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • ajburne

      Mr me??? How many assists did he have?? That's called team basketball. Look how many players on the Heat had over 20 points. You don't have to like him as a player or a person, but you can't argue with the numbers.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  10. keeth

    meh

    June 22, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. Doc Esteebo

    People need to calm down. Buying the championship? How did he do that? He took a pay cut to come to Miami. Everyone knew this was going to happen. Lebron, Bosh, and Wade were all friends and they worked their contracts out to become free agents at the same time. Everyone knew the intention was to try to play together. Miami didn't throw cash at them, they were smart and began creating room in their salary cap, 46 million dollars of space to be exact, so they are completely different than the Yankees. The truth is that players were willing to accept less money to be on a good team.

    As far as the "decision" goes, Lebron regrets it, but there are lots of people who are happy he did it. If you're wondering who, how about kids all over America, because 2.5 million in proceeds from that TV Special went to repairing facilities for Boys and Girls Clubs of America, over half a million went to clubs in Ohio. It was still a bit of a punk move, but he did say he regrets it, what more can he do, invent a time machine?

    Now, these claims that "MJ and Kobe built teams around them and Lebron didn't" are ridiculous. MJ and Kobe didn't build anything, their team did. Cleveland wasn't doing that, he left. KG left for the Celtics, so did Ray Allen, because they weren't going to win anywhere else, and no one is doubting their hall of fame credentials. Also I seem to remember Kobe being drafted by Charlotte, and him and his agent telling them it was "impossible" for him to ever play for Charlotte, so they traded him to the Lakers, where he already joined a stacked team.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. Chris De Santis

    Independently of what people are saying here, the matter of fact is that the winner is Miami Heat; LeBron got the ring and is the MVP period. Go cry me a river those who have only stupid comments. In general those are the same ones that couple of games ago were bragging about how Heat will lose, how good will see LeBron lose. I guess is tough enough to see how wrong they were so now they have to make stupid comments to comfort their souls.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  13. bookgirl

    People in Ohio do not begrudge LaBron his success with the Heat. They are still insulted by the manner in which he announced that he was going to the Heat. It was 100% disrespectful and showed a complete lack of class. So, pfft, to LaBron.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. Darrell

    guess it would of been completely differient if Avery Bradley wasn't hurt and was able to play with the Celtics, Lebron wouldn't be playing this tune, and he knows it

    June 22, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. Lynda

    To Aaron and the haters....LeBron James is one CLASS ACT who got EXACTLY what he deserved. He is his OWN MAN, he WILL NOT let anyone 'OWN" him.....he WILL DO exactly what HE feels is the right career choice for HIM, he is a MEGA-gracious, MEGA- talented, MEGA-team player, MEGA-gentleman.....and he OWES YOU AARON......NOTHING. You my man are a HATER with a capital H. Do you think your boss is going to give you two weeks notice if he plans to fire you or lay your sorry ass off, or demote you????????????????? I THINK NOT MY FRIEND. Today...they drop your ass like its hot and offer NARY an explanation....hence..all the people OUT OF WORK TODAY. That was a CAREER MOVE. If you found a better offer at another company....but your boss asked you to stay put out of "loyalty" to that company...WOULD YOU STAY......AGAIN....I THINK NOT MY GOOD BUDDY....you'd be two sheets in the wind to the NEW JOB OFFER WITH THE MONEY YOU WERE LOOKING FOR. Well you and Clevelend better grow up and smell the REAL LIFE....its was a BUSINESS DECISION. GET OVER IT. He got his due....Hail LABRON AND THE MIAMI HEAT (not taking away anything from the Thunder...but they are a very young team and they are really good and will get their due in due course). Go LJ.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Lynda

      It defeats the purpose to say Aaron is a hater with a capital h when you capitalized the whole thing.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
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