Fri, June 22, 2012
Sports > Basketball

James grabs triple to lead Heat to NBA champions

2012-06-22 05:09:55 GMT2012-06-22 13:09:55(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

NBA great Bill Russell (L) prepares to present the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP trophy to Miami Heat's LeBron James (C) after Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Miami, Florida June 21, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh (L to R) celebrate with the trophy (L) and the MVP trophy (C) after winning the championship in Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Miami, Florida June 21, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

Miami Heat's Chris Bosh celebrates after the Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals in Miami, Florida, June 21, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

Miami Heat's LeBron James (L) and Dwyane Wade pause during the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals in Miami, Florida, June 21, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant (L) is guarded by Miami Heat's LeBron James during the first quarter in Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals in Miami, Florida, June 21, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

MIAMI, Florida, June 21 (Xinhua) -- LeBron James wrapped up his sensational series with 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds, leading the Heat to their second NBA championship with a 121-106 victory over the Thunder on Thursday.

James finally added an elusive NBA title to his already impressive resume, guiding the Heat to a five-game triumph over the Western Conference champions. Following up on his regular-season Most Valuable Player nod, James averaged 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists in the Finals and was named Finals MVP.

"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.

James had plenty of help Thursday night, particularly from Mike Miller, who put together one of the most unexpected performances in a Finals game. Miller finished with 23 points while connecting on seven of eight 3-point attempts as the Heat made 14 3-pointers on the night, tying the record for most in a Finals game.

Up 59-49 after a dominant first half, the Heat kept up their hot 3-point shooting in the third quarter to fend off repeated Thunder challenges. Shane Battier's second long-distance shot of the quarter -- and Miami's 10th of the game -- restored the double-digit edge just before the midway point of the frame, and James drew a flagrant foul on Derek Fisher later in the quarter, making both free throws to extend the lead to 79-63.

James followed that up with a tough driving layup, and Chris Bosh and Miller knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to cap a 19-1 stretch that sent Miami into the fourth quarter with a 95-70 lead.

Kevin Durant had 32 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder, who made a remarkably early trip to the NBA 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 playoff appearance since Seattle lost to Chicago in 1996.

Westbrook scored 19 but shot only 4 of 20, unable to come up with anything close to his 43-point outing in Game 4, and Harden finished a miserable series with 19.

Chris Bosh scored 24 points while Dwyane Wade added 20 in the victory.

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