The dream has finally become reality. ‘The King’ is celebrating his first coronation and the Miami Heat is NBA champion again. LeBron ‘King’ James collected a triple-double with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists, and Miami Heat dominated the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106, on Thursday, to win the championship series 4-1.
James silenced the pundits who criticised him for leaving Cleveland two seasons ago. They also said the league’s best player couldn’t win the big game after two failed finals appearances, including last season’s painful loss to Dallas.
Dream come true
“It means everything,” said James, who was also named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) after averaging 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists in the series. “This, right here, is the happiest day of my life and I wouldn’t want to spend it with anyone else in the world, but my teammates and these fans. This is a dream come true.”
Though happy to win his first championship ring, James is hungry for more. “It’s a job well done,” he said while holding the Larry O’Brien Championship trophy.
Chris Bosh scored 24 points while Mike Miller added 23, hitting half his team’s 14 triples. Dwyane Wade chipped in 20 for Miami, which won its first title in 2006.
“From the first day, we were on a mission to become a champion and that mission was not completed until tonight,” said Wade, the 2006 finals MVP. “Tonight was our time.” Like James, Bosh also had a dream fulfilled after signing with the Heat two seasons ago.
Kevin Durant had 32 points with 11 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook and James Harden scored 19 apiece for the Thunder, which lost the final four games after taking the opener. “It hurts, man,” Durant said.
The Thunder was looking to stay alive and take the series back to Oklahoma City for the final two games, but the Heat had other ideas. Miami used a 19-4 run to build a 17-point lead midway through the second quarter en route to a 59-49 half-time advantage.
James scored 13 points while Miller added 12 on 4-of-4 from behind the arc as the Heat hit a sizzling 55 per cent (22-of-41) from the floor. The Heat broke the game open with a 19-1 third quarter burst after the Thunder had pulled to seven.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Bosh and Miller capped the surge that opened up an 88-63 cushion with three minutes left in the period. Miami carried a 95-71 cushion into the final frame and Miller knocked down two more three-pointers in the first minute of the stanza as the Heat never let up.
With three minutes remaining, James was pulled from the game after making his final basket to the delight of the wildly-cheering fans at the sold-out AmericanAirlines Arena.
“I wanted to be a champion one day,” James said. “I didn’t know when, now I’m happy and excited.”
The result (Game five): Miami 121 bt Oklahoma City 106. Miami wins series 4-1.