Friday, June 22, 2012

NBA: Heat burn the nets; trio of James, Wade and Bosh lift title

The Miami Heat were as hot as their namesake, and the decision of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to play together was finally validated after coming close in their first year together, as the trio lifted the Larry O'Brien Championship trophy, knocking out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 4-1, with a 121-106 win, Thursday (Friday, PHL time), in front of their hometown fans.

After a Derek Fisher triple cut the Heat's advantage to two points, 34-32 with 10:48 left in the second quarter, the Heat unleashed a 9-2 run that gave them a double-digit advantage, 43-34, a little under seven minutes left. A 7-0 run by the Heat then gave them their biggest edge, 53-36, with 4:41 remaining.

OKC though made a belated comeback as Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant took over late, getting them to within 10 points with 48 seconds left, enough for a 59-49 halftime score.

The Thunder then brought it back down to five at the onset of the third, thanks to four straight points from Serge Ibaka, 61-56. But the Heat took the wind out of their sails with a 19-1 run that looked like the finishing blow, as Oklahoma City went five minutes without a field goal.

From then on, it was just a matter of playing keep-away, as the Heat answered every mini-run by the Thunder. Head coach Scottie Brooks then raised the white flag with 4:43 to go, sitting Durant and Westbrook and inserting his bench players. Fil-Am coach Erik Spoelstra then did the same thing, pulling the "Big Three" off  with 3:01 remaining as the celebration began early in South Beach.

LeBron James notched his second-triple double of this year's Finals, posting 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists. Dwyane Wade added 20 points and eight boards, while Chris Bosh tallied 24 markers.

The story of the game though was the Heat's hot outside shooting, as they matched the NBA Finals record for triples in a game, making 14-of-25 from beyond the arc. Reserve Mike Miller went 7-of-8 from trey, one shy of the single-player Finals record.

LeBron James was a unanimous choices for Finals MVP, just a few months after being awarded the regular season MVP.



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