Miami Heat Win NBA Title In Game Five Thrashing Of OKC Thunder

Friday, June 22nd 2012, 12:15 am
By: News 9

LeBron James cradled the Larry O'Brien trophy like a parent holding their first-born child. Meanwhile, Kevin Durant found his mother in a back hallway of American Airlines Arena, and sobbed on her shoulder, the pain of coming so close to a championship, and losing, too much to bear.

James finally got his ring, and he got it in one of the most impressive performances in NBA Finals history.

James had a triple-double with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists to lead the Miami Heat to their second NBA championship in a resounding 121-106 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

James led four Miami players with at least 20 points, including unlikely hero Mike Miller, who came off the bench to score 23 points on 7-8 shooting from three-point range.

Durant led the Thunder with 32 points and 11 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook and James Harden each contributed 19 points in a losing effort.

Miami put on an offensive clinic, shooting 52 percent for the game and hitting 14-26 three-pointers. OKC on the other hand, hit on just 41.4 percent of their shots during the game.

Miami opened the game with a lot of energy and shot lights out in the first quarter. At one point, Miami had made nine consecutive shots, leading to a 28-19 lead with 1:50 left in the period.

The Heat was boosted by three three-point shots from Mike Miller and Norris Cole off the bench. Overall, Miami shot 57.9 percent in the first quarter while OKC shot just over 37 percent.

OKC continued to attack the basket, and were rewarded often, frequently getting to the free-throw line, something they did better than any other team in the NBA this season. The Thunder hit 17-18 free throws in the first half.

OKC fought to cut the deficit to 34-32, but Miami extended the lead back to 41-34, forcing an OKC timeout with 7:20 left in the half. The Heat came out of that timeout and continued to pour it on, extending the lead to 53-36 and sending the American Airlines Arena into a frenzy.

The Thunder closed the half on a 13-6 run, but still trailed 59-49 at the break. Miami shot 55 percent for the half, compared to just 36.6 percent for OKC. The Heat hit 7-13 three-point attempts, with Miller leading the way, going 4-4 off the bench.

Coming out of the locker room, the Thunder quickly cut Miami's lead in half. However, the Heat had not cooled off from deep, as Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier hit back-to-back three-pointers to push the lead back to 11.

Every time OKC cut into the lead, Miami responded with timely baskets to snuff out any rally the Thunder tried to get going.

James' layup with 3:54 to play in the third put Miami up by 19, 82-63, and back-to-back three pointers from Chris Bosh and Miller blew the game open at 88-63.

From that point on, it was a coronation ceremony for the Heat, as they cruised to their second title.

The Thunder should return the entire core of their 2012 Western Conference champion team and can easily be back at this point next year.

OKC has advanced farther in the playoffs each of the past three seasons, and the only place left to go is for the Thunder to claim their own NBA championship.

They were blown off the court Thursday night. James' march to his first title was simply not going to be denied by anyone. But the Thunder is young and can learn from the experience, and if they do, there is no reason to think OKC won't be back next season.