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Heat Win the Title, LeBron is Finals MVP 26

Posted: June 21, 2012, 11:32 PM ; Updated: June 22, 2012, 12:39 AM

MIAMI (AP) -- The decision is final: LeBron James made the right call coming to Miami.

Finally an NBA champion, it's all worth it now.

James had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists, and got the kind of help that was worth leaving home for, leading the Heat in a 121-106 rout of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night to win the NBA Finals in five games.

Best player in the game, best team in the league.

James has found it all since taking his talents to South Beach.

"It means everything," James said moments after the win. "I made a difficult decision to leave Cleveland but I understood what my future was about ... I knew we had a bright future (in Miami). This is a dream come true for me. This is definitely when it pays off."

James added the finals MVP honor to his regular-season award, calling it "the happiest day of my life" during the award ceremony as he stood atop the championship podium with his teammates.

He left the game along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh for good with 3:01 remaining for a round of hugs and the start for a celebration he's been waiting for since arriving in the NBA out of high school as the No. 1 pick of the 2003 draft. James hopped up and down in the final minutes, shared a long hug with opponent Kevin Durant, and then smiled as he watched the confetti rain down from the rafters.

"It's about damn time. It's about damn time," James said.

The Heat took control in the second quarter, briefly lost it and blew the game open again in the third behind their role players, James content to pass to wide-open 3-point shooters while the Thunder focused all their attention on him.

The disappointment of losing to Dallas in six games a year ago vanished in a blowout of the demoralized Thunder, who got 32 points and 11 rebounds from Durant.

Bosh and Wade, the other members of the Big Three who sat alongside James as he promised titles at his Miami welcoming party two summers ago, both had strong games. Bosh, who broke down in tears as the Heat left their own court after losing Game 6 last year, finished with 24 points and Wade scored 20. The Heat also got a huge boost from Mike Miller, who made seven 3-pointers and scored 23 points.

That all made it easier for James, the most heavily scrutinized player in the league since his departure from Cleveland, when he announced he was "taking his talents to South Beach" on a TV special called "The Decision" that was criticized everywhere from talk shows and water coolers straight to the commissioner's office. James has said he wishes he handled things differently, but few who watched the Cavaliers fail to assemble championship talent around him could have argued with his desire to depart.

He found in Miami a team where he never had to do it alone, though he reminded everyone during this sensational postseason run that he still could when necessary. He got support whenever he needed it in this series, from Shane Battier's 17 points in Game 2 to Mario Chalmers' 25 in Game 4.

In the clincher it was Miller, banged-up from so many injuries that he limped from the bench to scorer's table when he checked in. He made his fourth 3-pointer of the half right before James' fast-break basket capped a 15-2 run that extended Miami's lead to 53-36 with 4:42 remaining in the first half.

The Thunder were making a remarkably early trip to the finals just three years after starting 3-29. With Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and James Harden all 23 or younger, the Thunder have the pieces in place for a lengthy stay atop the Western Conference.

But their inexperience showed in this series, a few questionable decisions, possessions and outright mistakes costing them in their franchise's first finals appearance since Seattle lost to Chicago in 1996. Westbrook scored 19 but made only four of his 20 shots, unable to come up with anything close to his 43-point outing in Game 4, and Harden finished a miserable series with 19.

Nothing they did could have stopped James, anyway.

Appearing fully over the leg cramps that forced him to sit out the end of Game 4, he was dominant again, a combination of strength and speed that is practically unmatched in the game and rarely seen in its history.

Wade skipped to each side of the court before the opening tip with arms up to pump up the fans, then James showed them nothing wrong with his legs, throwing down an emphatic fast-break dunk to open the scoring. He made consecutive baskets while being fouled, showing no expression after the second, as if he'd hardly even known he was hit. Drawing so much attention from the Thunder, he started finding his wide-open shooters, and the Heat built a nine-point lead before going to the second up 31-26.

Oklahoma City got back within five early in the third before consecutive 3-pointers by Chalmers and Battier triggered a 27-7 burst that made it 88-63 on another 3-pointer by Miller. James didn't even score in the run until it was almost over, hitting a pair of free throws after he was flagrantly fouled by Derek Fisher while powering toward the basket.

Gone was the tentative player who was mocked for shrinking on the big stage last year, too willing to defer to others who didn't possess half his talents. This time, he was at peace off the court and on attack on it, vowing to have no regrets and playing in such a way they wouldn't be necessary.

James promised multiple titles at his welcoming party, and the Heat have three pieces to build around. Pat Riley will have to fill some holes on the roster, but will likely find some players eager to come to Miami for the good weather and great chance to win.

Miller was one of them last year, and though injuries have ruined his effectiveness, his shooting turned this into the only blowout of the series after Miami had outscored Oklahoma City by just 389-384 over the first four games.

Notes: Miami became the third team to sweep the middle three games at home in the 2-3-2 format. The Detroit Pistons took all three from the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004 before the Heat did it against Dallas in 2006. ... Coach Erik Spoelstra tied Riley for the Heat franchise record with his 34th postseason win. He is 34-22, while Riley was just 34-36. ... The four-game losing streak that Oklahoma City finished the season with was its longest of the season. The Thunder had dropped three straight games to Memphis, Miami and Indiana from April 2-6.

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26 Comments

LEBRON IS GOING ALL THE WAY

Lebron dosen't deserve to win that!!!!
All the calls go his ways. The Thunder should have won!!!
Cheaters!! All Miami..

he is happy because he got is first ring

Heat is awsome and always will be the bomb!BOOM!

lebron stinks go celtics

MIAMI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

its about time

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr this makes me so mad thunder deserved to win not LEBRON

u know it broski power to lebron haters

i HATE LeBron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Durant Rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Westbrook is beast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Booooooooo! LeBron Traitor!

d wade should be on the cover of the july 2012 issue

LeBron has finally got himself an MVP award, which I think he totally earned. This is because he's fast, good at making shots, good at blocking shots, and is kind of tall. He also got this award because his team helped him get to the finals. I predict that the team will win one or two more finals before LeBron retires.

Although Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder are contenders in the West, they are right now no match for the Big 3 in Miami. The Heat are now more experienced because they have gone through two Finals series, even though they lost the first one to Dallas. However, this loss helped make them better as a team.

I also like coach Eric Spolstra because he is always serious about winning and is professional on the court.

u didnt have to write so much because lebron stinks go celtics

Big 3 cover of July

bryce harper should be cover athlete 4 july

LET'S GO BABY MY RING!!!!!!!!

Thunder should've won. Heat and LeBron are good but I like Oklahoma more.

lebron isnt good but im still with ya

LeBron is awsome

i gotta say the heat is a very good nba team when theyre in the mood to play they are on fire

COngrats LeBron u got 1 championchip, But don't 4get what you said. Not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7, u better do what u said

Curtis granderson should be in the next magazine

LEBRON JAMES ROXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hmmmm

Why does everyone hat heat and lebron? Im not a heat or james fan but i think its rong to hate him because he went to miami. i would have done that to. ppl dont hate Pujols for going to la. he deserved a ring in his career, now hes one of the top 50 players

go lebron!

YOUR NAMES IS.

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