MIAMI, June 21 (UPI) -- LeBron James ended the season with a triple-double Thursday that pushed the Miami Heat their second NBA title in a 121-106 smashing of Oklahoma City.
The Heat ended a professional basketball campaign that came close to being canceled six months ago and they did so in the kind of dominating fashion expected of a team headed by superstars.
After losing the opening game of the championship series, Miami ran off four straight wins to end the title hopes of a young Thunder squad that is in position to challenge for the NBA crown in seasons to come.
This season, however, belonged to Miami -- which survived two elimination games in the Eastern Conference finals against Boston and eventually turned the final game of the season into a coronation.
Miami ran off 16 points during the third quarter to open an 88-63 lead, allowing Miami fans to begin their championship celebration before the final period started.
The Heat shot 51 percent from the floor and hit 14-of-26 from 3-point range. Mike Miller went 7-of-8 from long-range and provided some rare off-the-bench Miami support that resulted in 23 points.
It was James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, however, who supplied most of the fuel for the Miami engine, just as James said they would after he left Cleveland and joined the other two prior to the 2010-11 season.
Their first year together ended with a championship series loss to Dallas, but they have now added the 2012 title to Miami's first one won in 2006.
James had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists. He left the game with 3 minutes remaining, his first championship ring a certainty.
Bosh, who missed nine games during the playoffs due to an abdominal strain, had 24 points and seven rebounds. Wade finished with 20 points and eight boards.
Miller made all four of his 3-point attempts in the first half and sparked Miami on a 19-4 second-quarter run that gave the Heat a 10-point halftime lead.
Kevin Durant, who led the NBA in scoring during the regular season, produced 32 points for Oklahoma City while committing seven of his team's 13 turnovers.
Russell Westbrook and James Harden had 19 points apiece.
|Additional Sports News Stories|
NEW YORK, May 19 (UPI) --A scheduled American League game between the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays Sunday was postponed due to rain.
WASHINGTON, May 19 (UPI) --Television actress Christine White has died in Washington, her representatives announced. She was 86.
MOSCOW, May 19 (UPI) --A biological research satellite capsule returned to Earth Sunday with its mice, gerbils, geckos and plants after a 30-day flight, Russian space officials said.
DENVER, May 19 (UPI) --Police said they responded to a Denver Starbucks after an altercation between an employee and customers who changed their son's diaper at their table.