Miami Heat were crowned 2012 NBA Champions after overpowering Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena on Thursday night. The resounding victory gave the Heat a 4-1 series victory and handed the franchise only their second NBA title with their previous champagne moment coming in 2006.
As has been the story in the last three games, Heat were once again led by a scintillating display from their star forward LeBron James who crowned his first NBA championship ring with a triple double of 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds. It was a performance which capped off a splendid run in the series for James and fittingly earned him the Most Valuable Player award of the Finals.
James was again well supported by Chris Bosh (24 points) and Dwayne Wade who had 20 points and eight rebounds. The Heat's reserve guard Mike Miller also excelled in the role of a sharpshooter hitting seven three-pointers from eight attempts. Miami were exceptional with their shooting from beyond the three-point arc on the night as their total of 14 shots from 26 attempts put them on par with Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic for the most in NBA Finals history. The Rockets and the Magic had achieved the same figure during the 1995 NBA Finals.
For The Thunder, it was a tame end to a series which began in promising fashion for Scott Brooks' side who took the opening game in Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant had 32 points from the game while teammate Russell Westbrook followed up his magnificent haul of 43 points in Game 4 with his worst shooting effort of the series as he ended a disappointing night with 19.
The Thunder had to win to take the series back to Oklahoma and were within distance of the Heat in the first quarter which ended 26-31 in favour of Miami. But the first signs of the home side threatening to pull away came early in the second quarter though Oklahoma did well to keep the deficit to just 10 at 49-59 at half-time. In the third-quarter though, their slim title hopes were simply blown away by an inspired Heat who at one stage led by as many as 26 points.
For 'King James', it was a particularly emotional moment after he was torn apart by the critics following his disappointing showing in last year's Finals which Miami lost 4-2 to the Dallas Mavericks. James had also encountered Finals heartache in 2007 with his hometown team, Cleveland Cavaliers who were swept 4-0 by San Antonio Spurs.