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. Mike

    Sorry CNN, He is still no Jordan nor will he never be as great.

    June 22, 2012 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Rkutz

      Mike he is great and will be mentioned in the same breath as Micheal Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant and some many other greats. Stop your complaining with your hating a*% you suck and you are not great ole hour glass head a*% go lose some weight and stay off the bath salts.

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

      Only time will tell if he will be as great as Jordan but Lebron is the best player today.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. studdmuffins

    Nice to see the quitter didn't quit for once. Too bad he is such an "all about me" type person.

    June 22, 2012 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Gladys

      You have to be kidding me how can you say thta he is all about him did you see how many assists he had. Westbrook is all about himself.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DoubleEM

    Waiting for reports of mass suicides in Cleveland.

    June 22, 2012 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
    • CleH8sLeBron

      3 confirmed....1 possible....2 in progress. We're falling like flies.

      June 22, 2012 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. dave

    Yankees..ho hum buy their championships....Heat bought theirs...BUlls built a champion ship....

    really who cared this year

    June 22, 2012 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. southfls

    Go heat!! No matter what you all say, in your faaaaace!!! Don't be haters and take the loss northerners, your crappy Celtics didn't win OK, ock not a bad job but still her was great team and you know it haters

    June 22, 2012 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
    • jason

      easy to win when you gather up the most talented players and put them on the same team. that's never been done before. oh wait it has! its called the all star game. James just isn't good enough to do what jordan or kobey did.

      June 22, 2012 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. militarymike

    I really don't understand all the animosity. I feel sorry for those of you, whose lives are so terrible that you need to hate others for their accomplishments to feel good about yourselves. The conspiracy theories about fixed games and paid off refs are both hilarious and sad at the same time. You keep telling whatever you need to get through the day. The rest of us will be in the real world when you're ready to join us.

    June 22, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • willis 102

      Wonderfully said!!!

      June 22, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Rkutz

      Well said.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Shapiro

    Haters in your face. Miami won.

    June 22, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. MikeA

    Maybe the greatest player ever, certainly the most complete player. Time will tell if this is one of the great teams in NBA history. LeBron has proved to be the real deal, great in our community, great with his teammates and his opponents. He had to grow up when he came here, playing with Wade, and he did. Congrats to the Heat!! They worked hard for it and earned it. The small minds that think they know anything about this game or the guys that play it don't matter anyway.

    June 22, 2012 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. ruetienne

    it's no different than the kids in the hood picking teams and the best of them all starts by picking the next two best players. Winning at all costs is okay with James...and most of us. Jordan, Nowitski, Bird, Magic, etc had teams built around themselves by management. But the kid who wears the Yankee cap couldn't wait. So he colluded with others. Too bad. His legacy may outgrow his youthful mistake if proves to be the best player ever. Still, America's obsession with winners will produce more sport's narcissists in the NBA and elsewhere.

    June 22, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • willis 102

      Cleveland was not trying to build anything around James!! Oh yea Jordan was the man, he also had S. Pippen!!!

      June 22, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. Rundvelt

    Apparently there are shortcuts.

    June 22, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. susan halterman

    It's only a game, It's only a game.......why personal attacks on people? It was a great playoff series, with amazing athletes, exciting games, mind blowing plays, Durant was absolutely great. Like the game, don't hate the players.

    June 22, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Sunshine1167

    That's too bad. Was hoping Oklahoma might at least win another game. SO tired of hearing about Miami and Lebron.

    June 22, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. realist512

    Who cares? I was pleased when Dallas won. I was pleased when Boston won. Heat are the most hated team in sports. No congratulations from me.

    June 22, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Baycap

      And your opinion means nothing. Go away.

      June 22, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Keys1

      Better get used to it, because the Heat will be winning more NBA Championships, they not only won, but did it in 5 and destroyed OKC in the final game, incredible players!!!

      June 22, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • paulino

      Because of haters like you is that I'm happy and proud to live in Miami, LETS GO HEAT...

      June 22, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • datdude

      Hater. Congrats to the team and player. Heat are awesome

      June 22, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Rkutz

      Go play in traffic..

      June 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Malibu123

    The NBA was still playing?

    June 22, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. BigAl

    don't care how many championships he wins....he ALWAYS be LeBUM James

    June 22, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Rkutz

      Wash your mouth out with Buck shots hater.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
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