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lebron james miami heat 2012 nba championship Miami Heat's LeBron James celebrates near the end of Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Miami, Florida, June 21, 2012. (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Miami Heat Win NBA Title

LeBron James finally gets his championship ring

By Amiri Tulloch | null null , null

For the first time since 2006, and the second time in franchise history, the Miami Heat are National Basketball Association (NBA) champions. The Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder last night 121-106, and took the series 4-1, with a win marked by an explosive offensive drive in the third and fourth quarters.

Heading into last night's Game Five, the burning question for the Miami Heat was whether they would be able to get a solid performance by players not named LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. Well, they did a great job of getting everyone involved in the game. Six Miami Heat players scored in the double digits, and they moved the ball extremely well with 25 assists.

The Heat scored baskets seemingly at will, shooting 51.9 percent from the field and knocking down 14 three-point shots. Seven of those three pointers came from shooting-guard Mike Miller. Miller finished the night shooting 7-8 from behind the three point line. This was the most by any player coming off the bench in any Finals game.

When the Heat required someone to drive from the basket and secure a layup or draw a foul, James got it done. When a perimeter shot was desired, it was Chris Bosh or Dwayne Wade stepping up in a big way. When they needed a three-pointer, Mike Miller stepped up and nailed it from behind the arc.

"This means everything. This is why we all came together, everyone made sacrifices," Miller said after the game.

On the other hand, the defeated Oklahoma City Thunder "have a lot of work to do," according to head coach Scott Brooks. The Thunder is one of the youngest teams in the league, with a good portion of their players under the age of 25. It kept things interesting by rallying to take the lead at different points in the game. And small forward Kevin Durant had a strong 32-point performance.

Durant didn't get much help from his teammates, though. Dynamic point-guard Russell Westbrook – who had scored 43-points in Game 4 – played poorly, scoring only 19-points on 4-20 shooting.

But the focus for the night was on LeBron James. James came to Miami last season promising to deliver multiple championships. This was LeBron's third time appearing in the Finals, and he finally emerged victorious. He shined last night with a 26-point, 11-rebounds, 13-assists triple-double game. His performance in the series earned him the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award, as well as his first championship ring.
 
"This is a dream come true for me," LeBron told ESPN after the game. "I've been putting in a lot of work to get to this point and I'm happy this dream has become a reality."

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