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. Greek American

    Congrats to the Miami Heat and LeBron James, the best player currently in the NBA.
    And to all you haters out there, just quit whining and get over it already! No the games were not fixed.

    June 22, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. jon

    Great entertainment yesterday watching the HEAT play. To think they almost lost it in Boston.. CONGRATZ HEAT!

    June 22, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. Nathan

    great as he is he's still a whiny punk

    June 22, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  4. Hombre

    Unfortunately for Mr. James, he will always be an "asterisk" in the record books, unlike Jordan, or Bird or Magic Johnson or Dr. J. or Kareem or Wilt or Oscar who have built teams around them and brought the players up to a level of expertise. Mr. James had to "buy" his... THAT will always be noted. Yes Mr. James you got the championship but you are not like the greats... you have stood on the shoulders of greatness...

    June 22, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • uysfl

      Other players like Shaq did the same thing and no one complained. Quit hating and let the man be.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Greatness

      Stop hating.. It was a lot different back then. Lebron had to do whats best for his family.. He didnt want to keep waiting. He didnt want to be 30 years old trying to win a championship.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • East of Eden

      Put Jordan and Kobe on that Cavs team and they would have not won either. People who know nothing about the sport need not talk. 30 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists through the entire playoffs is very impressive.

      Let's just let LeBron be LeBron. He doesn't want to be compared to the likes of Jordan, Bird or Magic so just let the man enjoy his moment and be his own man.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • holmessph

      I agree, no different than the Yankees winning world series.. No one cares when you buy a team. Not to mention in these games where he "lead the heat to victory" he only scored 26 points. Big-Z from the cavs was scoring this during the post season lol.... Jordan was scoring 50+ a game, same with Bryant.. There is NO comparison, James is no KING, and his ring is bought and paid for

      June 22, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. NeoGraphix

    I would give credit to Mike Miller for scoring 23 points off the bench in giving the Heat the victory last night but it will be all about James and Wade. Sad.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeAinFL

      We Heat fans know who did what. Miller was amazing last night, and has been a real Ironman for weeks now. Norris Cole is a wunderkind. Shane Battier is rock solid. This was a team effort and LBJ has emerged as a real team leader.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jessica Lerma

    A whole season of cheating and a Chamionship won by cheating. You should be proud, Lebron.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • uysfl

      Cheating how? Were they secretly adding points to the total or something? Learn sports little girl.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott Huntiing

      Jessica, I wouldn't necessarily call it cheating. The HEAT were NBA's golden child. They allowed the team to have 3 superstars, therefore, wanted them to win. And by wanting them to win, I believe they whispered a few words to the refs.

      I personally don't like Lebron as a basketball player, but he did what he had to do to win a championship, fast. Not sure what his rush was, not like he was a KG. Either way, as an NBA fan, congrats to him and the HEAT.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Luisa

      You must know a lot about basketball Jessica! LOL! Cheating? Really?

      June 22, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • su3385

      Oh please! Tell us more about this so called "cheating"! Was that "cheating" my making baskets? Was that "cheating" by leaving OHIO? Educate us!
      Kudos to the Heat for coming back to win this year.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. Tom

    I could like James if he hadn't done all the Decision stuff. I'm sure the franchise is to blame for a lot of the media around that whole fiasco. The Thunder are a young team and fell apart in the finals. They got schooled and nothing less. Maybe next year.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • uysfl

      Hey by the way, all of the decision stuff wasn't his idea, espn pitched it to him and he agreed to it only if all of the proceeds went to charity, he never made a dime. Learn your craft before hating ignorantly.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff

    Have you ever made a mistake in your life? Lebron self-admidately reported to Doris Burke last night that he was immature in Cleveland, made the game all about him, and as he said "played with hate".

    People can change. Ok, if you do not like Lebron James, you have a right to your opinion. The real argument here is that he was being critizised for being such a superstar with no ring. He now has accomplished this feat. There is no way to argue with this. As far as being selfish, arrogant and a ballhog, you can't argue with his words praising his teammates, nor his seemingly unending assists in the playoffs.

    For any of you who have played a sport in your highschool, college, or professional lives, we all know it takes a certain swag and arrogance to be the very best. To be the very best means persecution from others. Congratulations, Lebron James. Your talents (no quotes) have paid off in South Beach.

    Jeff – Boca Raton, FL

    June 22, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. Vjohnson

    Appreciate a game for its quality not for the dumb politics of the teams / players. Its a best of the 7 games for a reason – so that even if you win one game by fluke, you don't win 4 that way !
    Am not a heat fan – but loved all the 5 games for the speed and quality – especially Durant, westbrook, James and wade !

    June 22, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  10. NeoGraphix

    Vincent Herring – James will never be in the same class as Jordan, Magic or Bird. If he would have stayed in Cleveland and started winning championships then maybe. Jordan was on a bad team and with his leadership and with other players around him, he won a few championships. James doesn't have the leadership qualities to make other players around him better.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • uysfl

      right, because he scored all of the points himself. get over it, Battier, Miller, and Chalmers all had great runs, why? Because LBJ was double teamed the whole time. Quit hating lol.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeAinFL

      Jordan was on a bad team? Pippen, Rodman, Paxson... maybe you should stick to posting what you know about, whatever that is. It ain't basketball.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • yoshimoto

      Every one of us would have moved out of Cleveland if things weren't working out for us. LeBron tried and it didn't work. Why stay there in obscurity? Sure, he was immature, but a young kid like that has a hard time figuring things out. He's matured and to me he is a role model for determination and persistence. I like the guy. I can't say that about many pro athletes – Kobe, Iverson, Rodman, TO, Clemens, McQuire, L. Armstrong, for example.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Rkutz

      NeoGraphix your are the epidemy of ignorance and don't have a clue about what you are saying so take this with a grain of salt. Your a hater and a loser your breath stinks and your teeth duck when you talk, your a BUM your broke and thirsty that's why you hate on Lebron all the great Basketball player will welcome LBJ into the Hall of FAME and when that happen gusee what you will still be hating you can't help it it's in your DNA hater.

      June 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. idunno

    This one time, the NBA wasn't a joke...

    June 22, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. S.R.

    Lebron will still never be as good as Jordan!!!

    June 22, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. willis 102

    You must be from Cleveland!!!

    June 22, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. yoshimoto

    I have to say, in my opinion, LeBron is a class act and a positive role model. I saw this in that game against the Celtics where they played in Boston and almost got knocked off. Through sheer determination, LeBron was not going to lose that game. The guy works hard and says the right things. He is truly someone kids can look up to. Not like Iverson or Kobe. Sure he left Cleveland in a weird way, but he raised money for a charity while doing it. This team didn't win because they spent a lot of money, this team won because they have heart and drive. This is truly a refreshing story about persistance, not qiving up and TEAM playing. Congrats Heat – you deserve it!

    June 22, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  15. scott

    It wasn't just james and wade playing that game it was the entire team. During the Jordan day's the entire team was the winner. James is the best player in the NBA now but he wont go down in history. He didn't build the team.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
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