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Heat-Thunder Set for NBA Finals 8

Posted: June 11, 2012, 11:09 AM ; Updated: June 11, 2012, 11:22 AM

To the Finals: Heat top Celtics 101-88 in Game 7


MIAMI (AP) -- LeBron James finally got a Game 7 victory, on his third try.

Next up, the NBA finals - and his third try at that elusive first championship. A year after watching someone else celebrate on their home floor, the Miami Heat were the ones dancing at midcourt.

James had 31 points and 12 rebounds, Chris Bosh hit a career-best three 3-pointers - the last sparking the run that put it away - and the Heat won their second straight Eastern Conference title by beating the Boston Celtics 101-88 in Game 7 on Saturday night.

Miami opens the title series in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night. The Heat got there by outscoring Boston 28-15 in the fourth quarter, with the "Big Three" of Dwyane Wade, Bosh and James scoring every Miami point.

"We decided to come together and play together for a reason," Wade said.

Wade scored 23 points, Bosh finished with 19 and Shane Battier added 12 for the Heat, who won a Game 7 for the first time since 2004 - Wade's rookie season. Now it's back to the finals, where Miami fell in six games to Dallas a year ago.

Rajon Rondo finished with 22 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds for Boston, which got 19 points from Paul Pierce in what might be the last game of the "Big Four" era for the Celtics.

Boston took out its starters with 28.3 seconds left. By then, workers already had a rope around the perimeter of the court, preparing for the East trophy presentation.

"Give them credit," Rondo said. "They spread the points out as a team tonight. Give them credit. They played great tonight as a team and we just came up short."

 

Durant takes charge, pushes Thunder to NBA finals


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- For all the points, rebounds and assists that filled Kevin Durant's impressive stat line, it was a defensive play he made that fired up his coach and teammates.

"That's his first charge of the year," Russell Westbrook interjected when Durant was asked about drawing an offensive foul against Manu Ginobili in the fourth quarter of Oklahoma City's 107-99 win in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals on Wednesday night.

Indeed, it was.

The league's three-time scoring champion had 34 points and 14 rebounds while playing all of regulation for the first time all season, leading the Thunder into the NBA finals. But it was taking that charge that got his team pumped up.

Durant stepped in front of Ginobili's drive during a 3 1/2-minute scoreless stretch by San Antonio that allowed Oklahoma City to take the lead for good.

"I just wanted to go out there and sacrifice my body for my team. I knew that would give us a little spark," Durant said.

"Manu's an unbelievable player at twisting his body and making crazy shots, so I just wanted to time it right. It felt good to get that for my team and I could tell they were excited that I got my first one when I looked at the bench."

Westbrook added 25 points for the Thunder, who trailed by 18 in the first half and erased a 15-point halftime deficit.

The Thunder took the lead for good early in the fourth quarter, getting nine of their first 13 points on free throws as the fouls started to pile up for San Antonio - six on the defensive end and three on the offensive end in the first 7 minutes.

That included Durant's stop just outside the restricted area under the basket.

"Down the stretch, it seemed like they got every whistle possible and that really changed the tide," San Antonio's Tim Duncan said. "We were playing tough defense and trying to get stops, but the whistle kept blowing and they went to the line."

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8 Comments

argghhh go celtics sting lebron nxt year well go thunder for right now

okc!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lebron is awesome!

GO HEAT! LeBron Wade and Bosh forever!

OKC baby!

I am the first person to comment on this page.

u could at type something decent like lebron stinks

who cares

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