Photo credit: Getty Images
MIAMI - LeBron James tallied a triple-double, while sharp-shooter Mike Miller poured in 23 points off the bench, as the Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 to win the 2012 NBA Finals, 4-1.
It is the second NBA Title for the franchise. The Heat's first title came in 2006, with legendary center Shaquille O'Neal, and it is the first championship for the 2012 Regular and Finals MVP LeBron James.
"I wanted to become a champion someday, and I put in a lot of hard work," James said. "And for me, I'm happy. I'm happy and no one can take that away from me."
"I'm an NBA champion," James smiled as he flashed the Championship and MVP Trophies to the press.
Oklahoma City forward, and 2012 NBA Scoring Champion, Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 32 points in a losing effort. "I envisioned it, but I didn't know it would happen." James said of a possible match up with Durant in the NBA Finals.
OKC guard Russell Westbrook gave the Thunder a 2-point lead, 8-6, in the first quarter, but Heat forward Shane Battier drained a long three pointer to give Miami the lead, 9-8. It was an advantage the Heat would not relinquish.
The Thunder cut Miami's 10-point half-time lead down to five points in the third quarter on a slam dunk by OKC's Serge Ibaka, but it was as close as Oklahoma City could get. The Heat exploded on a 29-9 run to take a 90-65 lead in the final minutes of the third quarter, before cruising to a 121-106 victory.
"They [OKC] create some incredible match up problems with their attack," James said. Westbrook finished with 19 points, while guard Derek Fisher contributed 11 points for the Thunder. "This is not the last time we are going to see Oklahoma City," James said when asked about possibly facing OKC down the road again in another NBA Finals.
James, constantly accused of not playing well in big moments, came up large in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. LeBron stuffed the stat sheet on his way to a triple-double with 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds. "Biggest thing I learned, is that you can't control what people think about you," James said of the constant scrutiny.
In all, six Heat players finished in double figures. Chris Bosh finished with 26 points, Dwyane Wade had 20 points and Miller contributed 23 points off the bench. Miller dazzled the home crowd by going 7-of-8 from three-point range.
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