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. Dammes

    yep, sad day, the "bad guys" won.
    Sportsmanship, loyalty, and a true sense of athletic achievement; these qualities are so rarely seen in the league, and are completely absent from this Miami Heat "Corporation" – not "team". I was rooting for the Spurs, but excited to see a young similar team take the mantle from them, only to lose to another bought and paid, hyped-up, superficial, team. Professional sports suck, and will continue to suck, if all you have to do is "buy" the championship. Mid-level and small market teams will never really be able to compete. Sorry, Cleveland, Charlotte, Sacramento, Denver, Indiana, Atlanta... and so on, but it will never be. Miami did not work for this championship, put in the years, and struggle, the only conflict I recognize is how James is overshadowing the real lynch pin of the team, Dwayne Wade. He is the team. James was just a hired contractor called in to help on the job. Whatever, next up is a new NFL season littered with all the same. Good Times...

    June 22, 2012 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. Hope

    Refs fixing the games is not unusual. It's always better when the best team wins in fairness.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. Johnny America

    Let the haters commence to crying

    June 22, 2012 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. Anchorage, Ak

    Breaking News: Sunny and hot here for 3 days str8t.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
  5. Kleo Knights

    I don't know which I'm the most happy about; that the Heat won the championship or the NBA season is over...

    June 22, 2012 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kleo Knights

    I don't know which I am the most happy about; that the Heat won the championship or that the nba season is over.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. Georgie

    Kevin Durant and OKC Thunder were a worthy opponent, ...But, they are second place winners. Congratulations to the MVP LeBron James and the NBA Champion Miami Heat. The NBA Finals were simply FANTASTIC!!!

    June 22, 2012 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. Fanny

    it's so beautiful, wow

    June 22, 2012 at 3:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. Daniel

    I'm really happy for Lebron, when all your life, for no reason, you choose to under estimate someone, one day, God, will teach you to appreciate one thing from the same person, celebrate with him, even if you don't see him as someone that God loves like you ...

    June 22, 2012 at 4:31 am | Report abuse |
  10. slupdawg

    Well, great for him. Whoop. I hate basketball. Glad it's over so I don't have to hear about it every night. Why don't they just make the season all year long?

    June 22, 2012 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ted Striker

    Congrats Chris Bosh for carrying Labron lol

    Durant is the best player in the NBA – unguardable.

    June 22, 2012 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. mes

    nice spelling

    June 22, 2012 at 5:49 am | Report abuse |
    • qwantfer

      Nice capitalization.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. Realdirect

    They don't deserve the other "E"....

    June 22, 2012 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. JimM

    Thank you CNN for protecting the idiots in Miami from my posts about payed off REFS...

    June 22, 2012 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. JimM

    To the CNN moderator, please go back to FLORIDA and stay there, you have NO business moderating this page with your biased South Florida views!

    June 22, 2012 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
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