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. rosie

    All you Cleveland dunces that say he blew it in Cleveland need to remember he did not have Wade, Bosh, Battier, Miller, Chalmers... to help him out. when you have help you can do even greater things. Go away and sulk and blame your owner for not paying for a good supporting cast for James.

    June 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg Kells

      LeBron had a great team in Cleveland. We didn't give him the handpicked all star lineup he has in Miami, but he had Z, Gibson, Varejeo and Shaq. It's not like we put him on a team with some second rate support and expected him to carry the team. To be clear, not all of us are mad that he got his ring. I'm glad he finally got it, and hope he continues to do well. I would never want back in wine and gold, and I think the way he handled himself in leaving was childish and arrogant, but it's the past. It's not like he pulled an Art Modell.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Shawn Thomas

    At least Cleveland is genuine and don’t have to take from others to win. We produce champions with a lack of loyalty.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Shawn Thomas

    He was paid so well. He was driving a Hummer in High School, before he even signed with a team. While collecting welfare. Even some of his former high school players siad his ego was so big. It was his way or the highway. Many didn't enjoy playing with him.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg Kells

      I've never heard a nice thing about him from anyone that knows him personally, but that's neither here nor there. He worked hard, he's talented, and he deserves his ring. He showed the true nature of his character when he left. That doesn't take away from his talent as a player, it just means he's human and flawed.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Anthony Stark

    Lebron has been on a tear since game 6 of the Celtics series. Horrific officiating aside, congrats to the man.

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

    When I see these guys it seems to me like even their championship "joy" is just an act. They don't look like they truly feel any joy..after all..they've all been told how amazing they are forever...this was no great achievement. Seeing LeBron hug that trophy just looked like bad theater..he was acting like he felt some great sense of joy because that is what he thinks he is suppose to do. The worst thing about professional sports (The NBA is the worst) is that the blatant buying of success is so...well, blatant. So what, in a couple of years, or at the next contract renogiations, some other wealthy owner will buy a championship. Money is what professional sports is all about but really...how does anyone identify enough with these teams to care that much...yawn.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • uysfl

      it must be a thrill to be married to you lol

      June 22, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nephthys

      That's one reason why I'm a tennis fan. 🙂

      June 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • chingiss

      You sound bitter Robin. Money can't buy Championships. Exhibit A: NY Yankees
      Players still have to jell and come together to overcome expectations to win. Exhibit A: Miami Heat.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      What? They look pretty happy to me.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Dude shut up. They won plain and simple. Nothing was a act, and nothing was paid. LeBron simply deserved it. Everything that happened is plain and simple. I don't know how you said all that and can make things complicated without any reason. If everything was an act and fake, they would have won last year too.Durant and many players were crying from OKC, was that an act too. Everything was legit, everything was real. Miami Heat won fair and square. I don't even like LeBron, but lets face it, it was about time, the dude is good. PEACE, FRANK BOSTON CELTICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Now Why

      Thats not really true. If you look at who they beat, the OKC Thunder, their payroll was below the league average and they made it to the Championship Game.

      Miami played great BasketBall and deserved to win. What i don't like about the heat is that their big three decided it would be easiest for them to play together and when then for a superstar like LeBron James to take a team to a championship himself.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Epacific

      Are you mildly insane? They could barely contain their joy- it was child-like in nature which is the purest form. I don't claim to be a Lebron. or Heat fan, but seeing happiness is always welcome. Regarding professional sports, I understand where you're coming from: take, for example, how Clay Bennett reneged on his promise to keep the Seattle Supersonics in Seattle. As soon as he could, he moved them to OKC and renamed them the Thunder. It is, after all a business. But, as far as the players are concerned, they may be conceited, they may be arrogant, and they may be out of touch with reality but achieving one's goal after putting in an extraordinary amount of work should be respected in any realm. If you're not interested in sports or the NBA, why did you read the article, look at the picture, or bother to post?

      June 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • juanmom

      I don't know what game you watched last night Robin, but I can tell you LBJ and D. Wade's smiles were real, just like Kevin Durant's tears were real. I can tell from your post that you know nothing about basketball, did you say the Championship was bought last year when Dallas won it? If the Heat had lose you'd be on here saying L. James chocked in the end, the same crap you probably said last year. I'm happy for the Heat, the people of Miami and ALL of the TRUE basketball fans around the world.I wish people like you would stop hating on men that have MORE MONEY than you, live a more exciting life than you, and have millions of adoring fans. there is nothing worse than a HATER!
      King James, congratulations on getting your CROWN!!!

      June 22, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kaitlyn

      WOW, Robin..................................Really?!

      June 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • jkflipflop

      The sad thing is how so many noble professions go unrewarded but these people that have probably never seen an algebra equation in their lives are getting paid sickening amounts of money to run around and throw a ball through a hoop.

      June 24, 2012 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Douglas

    Oh, they put the ball in hole better than anyone else. Wow! What an accomplishment!

    June 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • chingiss

      You sound insecure Douglas, you were the last kid chosen in Dodgeball right?

      June 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • watchwhoswatchingya

      **** IN REPLY TO DOUGLAS **** the same response comments to Robin apply

      this is typical of what a modern (neo) racist comment looks like...what is said by Robin and Douglas and others alike can serve as a model of teaching in classes when discussing new forms of racism; comments like this one that boil from a deep sentiment to NOT accept nor encourage the well being and success of whom we have blindly sworn to NOT accept or encourage
      Congrats to James and the Heats

      June 22, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • watchwhoswatchingya

      ****** IN REPLY TO DOUGLAS*****

      Like hockey players, right? Awww that must be hurting...

      June 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. YGBKM

    So the entire NBA season was dedicated to making sure LeBron James got his NBA LeTrophy.
    And now the Heat are NBA champs for 4 whole months, then the new season starts.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kaitlyn

      Gracious, why so bitter? So many of you are bitter and hateful toward LaBron and the Heat? I'm still excited about their victory. They were so happy and yesterday was my birthday and the Heat's victory was an awesome present! Congratulations Miami Heat and thank you for the beautiful smiles that lit your faces!

      June 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TPN51

    I'm not a Heat's fan nor a LaBron James fan but they put on a clinic last night. The passing, shooting and board control at both end of the court was impressive. I am however a big fan of Shane Battier. Was great at Duke and dong well in NBA. Congrats to the Heat, Good Job.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • juanmom

      Mike Miller was awesome too!

      June 22, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. liz

    I hope Dan GIlbert hasn't keeled over.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mylky

      I actually hope he has.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John

    Nice to see D-Wade's team win

    June 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. NFLD thought

    Now the world can stop spinning; King James and his Royal Court have finally won. Who cares anyway?

    June 22, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kaitlyn

      Hey NFLD.........if you don't care why bother to comment?

      June 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Robin

    Chingis, no, not bitter at all. Although baseball has far more variables at play than basketball, your mention of the Yankees is an excellent example. Compare their number of championships to those with much lower payrolls. I dare say I'm not the first to note the correlation of high payroll to success. This is not news. Its even the case in college sports. Pump enough millions of dollars into a program, and you get success (witness the current success of Phil Knight and T.Boone Picken's alma maters). Its just more vulgar in the NBA than anywhere else. And I'm not saying the Heat aren't the best in the NBA. I have every reason to believe they are. I just find the NBA boring, predictable, and pretty hard to be interested in.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I could have possibly agreed with you up to the point where you implied that basketball is more prone to buying championships than baseball. At least the NBA has implemented systems to deter it from happening. The only sport with worse potential for buying championships than American baseball is European Soccer. It should be obvious to everyone that any of Miami's Big 3 could make significantly more money elsewhere. There really is not a good way for them to keep the superstars from agreeing to play for less money so that they can work together to win a championship.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Steven Halls

    This was a real display of power, referees. Congrats.
    Nice to see the league's figure gain what he deserves at your power, really nice job of yours.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Chris

    Did he thank Jesus for helping him win?

    June 22, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Congratulator

    Congratulations MIami Heat!!

    June 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
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