King James gets his title crown

Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh celebrate with the trophy after winning the...

Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh celebrate with the trophy after winning the championship in Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Miami, Florida June 21, 2012. (Andrew Innerarity/REUTERS)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:33 AM ET

MIAMI - LeBron James would not be denied.

So close to his coveted first NBA title, James had another dominant effort in these finals, carrying the Heat to the second championship in franchise history over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Heat won for the fourth time in a row after dropping Game 1, ending the Thunder's league-best streak without four straight losses by a 126-101 margin.

James compiled his usual gaudy numbers 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds -- becoming the first player to notch two triple-doubles in the finals since Magic Johnson -- and Mike Miller emerged from mothballs to nail seven three-pointers in one of the most unexpected performances in NBA playoff history to power the Heat.

Chris Bosh added 24 points, Dwyane Wade 20, as the NBA's latest Big Three experiment proved a success.

James threw down a driving dunk to start the game added two more early layups and never looked back, completing a brilliant series that concluded with him being named MVP. Nobody else even needed to be on the ballot.

Scoring on the break like Julius Erving, trucking opponents like the best NFL running backs, finding his teammates from difficult angles like Magic and controlling the glass like Willis Reed, the man who was seemingly born to play the game like nobody before him, shed an anvil from his back.

Like it or not, the King has his ring.

More than 10 years after he first started getting media attention and hype as a high-schooler as basketball's next big thing and in his third trip to the championship series, James finally capped what has already been a hall of fame worthy career.

The three-time regular season MVP bullied the Thunder at both ends of the floor as he so often did over the course of this five-game series.

He also played fantastic post defence on Kevin Durant, who still scored 32 points owing to his greatness.

With Russell Westbrook struggling after his marvelous 43-point Game 4 effort (a dismal 4-for-20 from the field) and James Harden still missing in action, Durant couldn't carry his team by himself.

The perplexing decision by Thunder head coach to continuously go to Kendrick Perkins when he clearly wasn't a good option -- a series-long trend -- also hurt the Thunder.

OKC was lucky to only be down 10 points at the half despite wretched 8-for-23 combined shooting by Durant and Westbrook (along with five turnovers).

The Thunder managed to cut the lead to five in the third, before Miami exploded behind a three-point barrage.

With Miami up 25 in the third quarter, Wade emphatically punched away a Westbrook drive.

That's the kind of night it was for the Thunder, a team that had nothing left to give after rallying from two games down to take four in a row from NBA-best San Antonio a round ago.

OKC will be back, bet on that, but the team wasn't ready to climb the mountain.

Meanwhile, veteran-laden Miami insisted it had learned enough from blowing the finals against Dallas a year ago to make sure it didn't happen again.

The Heat was determined not to send the series back to Oklahoma City.

"We learned that we've got to earn it. We thought we were good enough, thought we'd just go out there and play and it probably would just come to us," said Heat forward Udonis Haslem of the 2010-11 season.

"But nothing came to us."

So, instead, Miami -- and James in particular -- went out and grabbed everything.

Everything.

As a result, James is a champion for the first time, along with Chris Bosh, who bolted from the Raptors as a free-agent third wheel after the franchise was unable to successfully build around him as the centerpiece.

Also getting his first title was Juwan Howard, who came into the league back in 1994, before the Raptors even existed. Howard stuck around long enough to do what his more heralded Fab Five Michigan teammates Chris Webber and Jalen Rose could not.

Montreal's Joel Anthony also joins the small list of Canadian NBA champions and Shane Battier is a winner too.

As for James, hate on his brutal exit from Cleveland and on some of the silly things he has said over the years, but give the man credit. He is one of the best players ever to pick up a basketball.

And finally, he is truly on top of the world.


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