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. cameo35

    ......... BAD REFS ,ARROGANT PLAYERS ,FIXED GAMES, TERRIBLE DEFENCE.....................................TIME TO GET RID OF STERN...................

    June 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Boyd Hoybin

    So, only James is on the team?

    June 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. wabe01

    Fabulous performance by a fabulous player! End of story!

    June 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |

      You're right, Kevin Durant is one heII of a player!

      June 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rkutz

    Congratulation to all of the Miami Heat Organization. That was a great series: I like the stone face seriousness of Lebron James, D-Wade, Chris Bosh, Sean Battier, Mario Charlmers, Mike Miller, Udauntis Haslem, Norris Cole and all the rest of the players, you guys are a class act. You all made me proud to be from Miami thank you for representing my city. Enjoy your success and forget about the haters and the nay sayers because they will still be hating next year. Heal up, will up, bring it back come rewind do again next year Go Heat Go.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. cameo35


    June 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ed Sr of Dallas Tx

    LeBron can kiss my LeBrown.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lenny Pincus

    Lebron will never be on the level of Magic, Michael, or Bird. All leaders. Lebron needed not one but two stars to drag his queenly crown to the top. and they were lucky to get past Boston. If the refs did their job and called any one of the three fouls the queen committed at the end of game 2, we'd be back in OKC on Sunday. And that flagrant on Fisher yesterday was beyond corrupt.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • jon


      June 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • brian

      magic played with 2 hall of famers, Jordan had Scottie and Rodman... Bird had Mchale some of the best TEAMS ever...No one can do it alone appreciate Lebron for what he is the best basketball player on the planet...the haters will hate because they envy his talent and success ....A player like lebron comes around once every 15 years those who hate him are not fans of basketball and if you really think hes no good, you clearly dont watch the game anyway therefore basketball fans dont care about your petty comments...

      June 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • RICK


      June 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • brian

      and btw to call this out on the refs? the heat plain out kicked the thunders ass last night westbrook hit 4 baskets cant put two games together when they needed it. If the NBA and Refs wanted anyone to win this series its the thunder, the excitement goes away now that the heat won, the people who watched to simply watch them fall wont pay as much attention now... stop blindly hating someone cause they made dumb decisions and appreciate the fact that your watching a once in a generation athlete become a champion thats what great sports stories are about....jordan said it himself he couldnt succeed until he failed....lebron has failed he felt that pain and learned from it now hes a champ thats all that matters

      June 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • achandler

      Both Magic, Bird, and Jordan had the same quality of player around them to win there championship. No one can win it alone.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Batang Maynila

      First Five All Time:
      Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Lebron James, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain
      Question: Game 7, game is tied, 7 seconds remaining, who do you give the ball to score?

      Congrats to Lebron and the Miami Heat Team for winning the Championship!!!

      June 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Batang Maynila

      James over Bird and Chamberlain? You are out of your mind.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dwayne

    NBA jumped the shark at "the Decision". With so many other sporting events to watch and participate in, who still enjoys watching the most overpaid and arrogant people put a orange ball in a small hoop? NBA has turned into just a strange spectacle of weird personalities – it's like watching professional wrestling, but less fun.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. OKC Fan

    No conspiracy here folks.....Miami HEAT were the better team...period.!....It took a match-up with Miami for everyone to realize what OKC isn't....and that's unbeatable. There's no NBA rigging or Ref rigging...LeBron’s explosive play and Milller's 7 3's.....you can't rig that....Today Miami is a far better team than OKC...this display puts an end to any comments about lacking depth etc etc.....World class play all 5 games by both teams. As much as ths hurt.....This was all Miami Heat series, they deserved this win...and YES...!...the better team won. YES....LeBron earned it....it was just soo painful seeing OKC who are otherwise invincible in front of every other team in the NBA, just get OWNED by Miami....sad loss....but Congrats to James and the HEAT....well earned WIN...!

    June 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Admirable of you to be a 'good sport', but it is nonsense to think the refs didn't help those stars. But that's what NBA refs do, they give the stars all the breaks. That props up those players who otherwise wouldn't look as good if they played to the same set of rules as everyone else. And, maybe the heat played the best game 5, but it is unfortunate that calls earlier in the series cost OKC the game and turned the series. You have to look at the series. Heat got all the calls, all the breaks.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • josh p

      I am a heat fan and reside in Miami,I don,t know what final you were watching,and I can tell you these officials should be ashamed of themselves to say the least.
      Lebron got every damn call he foul others no call,they barely touch him he get the foul,it,s as if the NBA wanted to Lebron to win a championship,shame on them we are not all blind.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dyna Hog

    I watched some of it, and it looked like all out Bumper Jumper Football. Lebron would come down dribbling and shove his arm right into a defender standing his ground, and then knock him out of bounds. When the other team did it, they called an offensive penalty.

    Seems a lot of Hit and Dibbles by Miami. BAD REFEREES or NEW RULES.

    If that's what People want, why can't a defender swing a closed fist and knock the SOB down ?

    June 22, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Freeman

    I'm not crazy about James but at the same time I'm happy the Heat won. All those that hate him because he made a career decision are full of BS! Arrogant, self centered why? Because he's a great player and decided to leave Cleveland? Other players have moved on. Why was this any different? It's his life he owed Cleveland nothing.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pauly

      @freeman It was his method for moving on that I found about as distasteful as can be. People change teams all of the time in sports, but seldom do they go so far out of their way to flip the bird at people as James did. Perhaps some have problems with short term memory when it comes to situations like that, but a lot of us don't. I won't cheer for James again unless he goes down with a career ending injury. THAT will be a cheer he's earned all on his own.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dallas123

    Surprise Surprise... Heats won NBA-2012. Pathetic, Is NBA that desperate to have Heats win. So they had to manipulate Refree & fouls.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JOmm

    i AM SO HAPPY FOR THE HEAT AND JAMES. Go get your ring boy.

    June 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dallas123

    NBA-2012 Champs Team picture... Say cheeze to all 3-Referees...

    June 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. David bierly

    I thought the Miami Heat won...did the great Lebron do it by himself ??? Now he can go out in the street with all the other thugs and party, party, party....

    June 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
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