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.”
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 watched the confetti rain down from the rafters.
The Heat took control in the second quarter, briefly lost it and blew it 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.
– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press
As the Miami Heat’s lead skyrocketed Thursday night from five just after halftime to an insurmountable 24 by the end of the third quarter, their fans outside the AmericanAirlines Arena decided it was time to celebrate the team’s second NBA championship in six years.
The thousands gathered in bars, restaurants and a park near the arena screamed in joy late Thursday as the Heat dropped one three-point shot after another, using the fourth quarter to get an early start on their party as they watched their team coast to a 121-106 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Heat won the series 4-1.
The promise made to South Florida fans 23 months earlier when LeBron James and Chris Bosh added their talents to Dwyane Wade’s had arrived.
– Reported by David Fischer of the Associated Press
It was Miami’s second NBA title following a 2006 triumph and the first for three-times league Most Valuable Player James, who finally realized his dream of winning a championship ring in his third trip to an NBA Finals.
Three-times NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant led the young Thunder team with 32 points with Russell Westbrook and James Harden adding 19 points for the losers.
– Reported by Larry Fine of Reuters
Favorites coming into the series, the Thunder fell in Game 5 of the finals Thursday night, as Miami finished off its run to a championship by beating the Thunder 121-106. Oklahoma City’s 11-point win in Game 1 is long forgotten and irrelevant now, considering that for the first time in more than three years, the Thunder have lost four straight games.
At the absolute worst time, on the absolute biggest stage, no less.
”When you play against the best, you learn,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.
Kevin Durant had 32 points and 11 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook finished with 19 points for the Thunder, though Westbrook’s night - one game removed from a 20-for-32 performance from the field - came on a night where he shot 4 for 20. They came out with 4:44 left, the outcome long decided, the Heat fans going delirious.
James Harden scored 19 points and Derek Fisher added 11 for the Thunder.
Down 10 at the half, the Thunder cut the deficit in half by the time the third quarter was a minute old. It was the last gasp of the season - Miami put the game, and the title, away with a 34-13 burst that pushed the lead to 93-67 on a three-point play by Dwyane Wade with 1:23 left in that pivotal quarter.
Mike Miller connected on his sixth 3-pointer of the night, and Miami’s 13th, on the first possession of the fourth quarter. Miller would soon add another, for good measure.
– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press