Heat rout Thunder to win second NBA title
MIAMI – The Miami Heat clinched their second NBA title by routing Oklahoma City 121-106 on Thursday thanks to a balanced attack and 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds from superstar LeBron James.
James was named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals after leading the Heat to the crown, capturing his long-sought first championship and delivering on the promise he made to Heat fans when he came to Miami two years ago.
“I am happy I was able to make enough plays to put ourselves in a position to win this championship,” said James immediately after the game.
“I wouldn’t want to spend it with nobody else in the world besides my teammates, these fans — oh, my God, you guys are unbelievable.”
Mike Miller came off the bench to sink seven-of-eight shots from three-point range and finish with 23 points while Chris Bosh added 24 points for the Heat, who won the final series 4-1 to claim their first title since 2006.
“I got a lot more gray hairs but this one is so gratifying,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.
“We knew we had the confidence in what we could do but it would be a long season and it would be a tough road.
“We kept saying all year long it would be the toughest thing we’d have to do in our professional lives to get back to here and finally get those four wins,” the coach added.
This was James’s third trip to the NBA Finals, including one with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but his first title in his nine years in the NBA.
“This is a dream come true,” said the 27-year-old James, who had no repeat of the painful leg cramps he suffered during Tuesday’s game four.
“I picked up a basketball when I was nine years old. This is the hardest thing I have ever done.”
Miami used impressive three-point shooting, hitting 14-of-26 from beyond the arc, in front of a sold-out 20,003 crowd at American Airlines Arena.
The Heat also shot 58 percent from the field in the first quarter and never eased up on the Thunder, opening a huge lead with a explosive third quarter, outscoring Oklahoma City 36-22.
Six of their players, including all of their five starters, finished in double figures.
The Thunder’s three-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant finished with a game-high 32 points and 11 rebounds while guard Russell Westbrook had 19 points and six assists.
But Oklahoma were never able to recover from losing three contests in a row by close margins after opening the finals with a win at home.
“It always comes down to game two. We had a bad start. We fought back. Got down to the last possession,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks.
“Games three and four it came down to three or four possessions they made and we did not make. Today they were just on fire.”