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. Doc Esteebo

    And this wasn't a "big three" performance last night, this was a great team. 6 Heat players in double digits, 4 with 20 or more, OKC got outplayed by the better team.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • ajburne

      right on the money!

      June 22, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jason Bourne

    Congrats chump. You won a ring in a short NBA season. You don't have the skill to win a ring in a complete season, so this will have to do.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • ajburne

      lol...one of the lamest comments I've seen. He gets yet another triple double, leads his team in scoring, has tons-o-assists allowing 5 of his teammates to hit double digits in point scoring....but yeah, you're right...no skill. lol... l.a.m.e. You may not like his as a person, or even as a player, but don't be lame and try to deny he has skills. That's like saying ice ain't cold cause you don't want any in your drink.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Wes

      So did the Heat have to play less games than every other team in the league. Last I checked they all played the same amount of games. So was the Thunder, Celtics, Bulls, Spurs, Lakers, Pacers getting to the playoffs unjustified because they didn't play a full slate of games either. Your argument has no base, especially when almost everyone associated with the league, players and coaches, expressed how difficult this season was, Yes they play less games, but it was in a condensed amount of time. Were the playoff shortened? Did they only have to play two rounds? Do the championship won by teams in the past not count when the number of games play each year was less? Just some questions for you to consider. I feel sorry for the LeBron haters. Ur hate clouds your ability to watch one of the greatest players in the league and enjoy it.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jason Bourne

    Labron a class act? he is like" I didnt take no shortcuts" lolo dude you came from cleveland, you took the biggest shortcut available.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. VistaPoint

    Heats played better but not as much as the scores suggest. Thunders got a number of bad calls go against them. As an independent viewer I felt the refs need to be credited as well for the Heats victory in 5.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. prettypiper

    Congrats!! Miami and LeBron, I'm sooo proud of YOU!! ENJOY the CHAMPIONSHIP no matter what anyone says. You earned every play and moment. Thanks for an exciting series, the best I've seen in passing, scoring, and ultimately shooting !! Definitely saw your LEADERSHIP skills to lead your team and your amazing Win at OKC!! Your determination, focus and ultimately your difficult decision to leave Cleveland. You demonstrated the tough call to go against everything that you've ever known and challenge yourself and for that, I'm proud of your accomplish and I celebrate with you. Let them talk, you've proven in my eyes what it takes to be a Champion and usually it's the ROAD: Two roads divided: You chose the road less traveled by and that my friend has made all of the difference. And for you "Cleveland Fans", you should be proud him; not trashing him.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • gloria

      Amen to that! Congratulations to the Miami Heat!!

      June 22, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bob Euker

    Sure nice that King James gets his ring.
    Too bad he alienated everyone outside Miami to do so.
    II can't wait for the hour long special to show off his ring.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Pppa

      And the hours of ESPN "special programming" about how this was all so meant to be – contrived, just like LeBron...

      June 22, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  7. julio

    The Heat won it last night by better coaching, team maturity and effort. The OK Thunder had their will-to-win broke in previous games from a lot of phatom fouls called when LeBron drove to the basket. We will see the Thunder again, if they can get a better post player, and Westbrook can learn to make better decisions. Congrats to Heat, but still no fan of them...at all!!!!

    June 22, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jay

    He looks so happy. It's a great photo. 🙂

    June 22, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  9. Drumcode

    Heat = Manchaster City

    June 22, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |

    First we had "The Draft" of the self proclaimed king
    Then came "The Decision" of the self proclaimed king
    Followed by "The Big Three" colluded by the self proclaimed king
    Now we have "The One Ring" of the self proclaimed king
    I look forward to "The Fall" of the self proclaimed king

    June 22, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • neverdie

      Get over it!

      June 22, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Pppa

      Followed by the "who?"...wait, that's already happening now! LeBron who?

      June 22, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • East of Eden

      Forgetting the 7 solid seasons he put in down in purgatory.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • gloria

      Jealous much??!!

      June 22, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. Alan

    Once a "Judas" always a "Judas–enjoy your 13 pieces of silver"

    June 22, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. DIng Dong

    Choke on it Lebron and Wade. Both are tools of the highest order. Was so fun last year watching the little Dallas Mavericks beat you in 6. Way to show up OKC.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Pppa

      OKC be back next year, when LeBorn isn't...

      June 22, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ringo

    While I give Lebron and the Heat their"props",I wish James had been gracious enough to let that guy Miller share the spotlight a little bit;he certaintly deserved much kudos for his efforts.Oh well.Such is life.Keep plugging away,Mr.Miller.Your day will come.The best to you,young man!

    June 22, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. anan

    Moody's cuts credit ratings on 15 major banks

    June 22, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. zaglossus

    Enough LeBron hate. It's his time and probably inevitable.

    June 22, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
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