LeBron James, Heat beat Spurs for NBA title

MIAMI — LeBron James had 37 points and 12 rebounds and the Heat repeated as champions with a 95-88 victory over the Spurs in Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.

Dwyane Wade added 23 points and 10 rebounds and Shane Battier scored 18 on 6-for-8 3-point shooting. James, named the MVP for the second straight Finals, made 5 of 10 3s, and hounded Spurs point guard Tony Parker on defense to make the Heat the first back-to-back champs since the Lakers in 2009-10.

"I'm at a loss for words,'' James said. "I'm LeBron James, from Akron, Ohio, the inner city. I'm not even supposed to be here.''

Tim Duncan had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs. Kawhi Leonard added 19 points and 16 rebounds.

"This is the reason we came to Miami, to do something special,'' Wade said. "It took everything we had as a team. This is the hardest series we ever had to play. Credit to the San Antonio Spurs, they're an unbelievable team, an unbelievable franchise. But we're a resilient team, and we did whatever it took. This is what it's all about."

Mario Chalmers scored 14 for Miami, and Battier provided a lift after getting benched earlier in the playoffs.

"It's better to be timely than good," Battier said.

Parker had 10 points on 3-for-12 shooting and four assists, and Manu Ginobili scored 18 for the Spurs.

"I couldn't love our guys more,'' San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "Dwyane Wade and LeBron James … played Hall of Fame basketball.''

"They pushed us to the limit," James said of the Spurs.

The Heat led 72-71 going into the fourth quarter after a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that Chalmers banked in.

The Spurs stayed close throughout the fourth and Leonard's 3 made it 90-88, but Duncan missed a putback and James made a 19-foot jumper with 27.9 seconds to go.

Confetti rained down on the court, and James was surrounded by teammates and clicking cameras after a tour-de-force finish.

San Antonio's Danny Green, for five games the favorite for Finals MVP thanks to his record-setting 3-point shooting, missed his first eight shots and finished with five points on 1-for-12 shooting, while Game 6 hero Ray Allen was 0-for-4 with three turnovers for Miami.

The Heat has been to three straight Finals, just like the team envisioned when Pat Riley brought James, Wade and Bosh together three summers ago. But it's been anything but easy for the NBA's latest super team. It lost to Dallas in 2010, then rebounded to steamroll the Thunder last season.

Chris Bosh was scoreless with seven rebounds for the Heat.

For James, it was another step toward rarefied air. Had the Heat lost, James would have fallen to 1-3 in the NBA's championship round.

Instead, James delivered with the clutch performances that have now become the norm.

"I work on my game a lot, throughout the offseason," said James. "I put a lot of work into it and to be able to come out here and (have) the results happen out on the floor is the ultimate. The ultimate."

He concluded, holding the trophy on the stage: "It doesn't matter what anybody says about me. I ain't got no worries."

SAN ANTONIO (88): Leonard 8-17 2-4 19, Ginobili 6-12 4-4 18, Duncan 8-18 8-8 24, Parker 3-12 4-4 10, Green 1-12 2-2 5, Neal 2-7 0-0 5, Diaw 2-2 0-0 5, Splitter 1-2 0-0 2, Joseph 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 31-82 20-22 88.

MIAMI (95): James 12-23 8-8 37, Miller 0-5 0-0 0, Bosh 0-5 0-0 0, Chalmers 6-15 1-4 14, Wade 11-21 1-2 23, Allen 0-4 0-0 0, Battier 6-8 0-0 18, Andersen 1-1 1-2 3, Haslem 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-82 11-16 95.

San Antonio 16 28 27 17— 88

Miami 18 28 26 23— 95

3-Point GoalsSan Antonio 6-19 (Ginobili 2-5, Diaw 1-1, Neal 1-3, Leonard 1-4, Green 1-6), Miami 12-32 (Battier 6-8, James 5-10, Chalmers 1-7, Bosh 0-1, Allen 0-2, Miller 0-4). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsSan Antonio 50 (Leonard 16), Miami 54 (James 12). AssistsSan Antonio 13 (Ginobili 5), Miami 14 (James, Allen 4). Total FoulsSan Antonio 19, Miami 19. A19,900 (19,600).

Finals

heat 4, Spurs 3

Game 1: Spurs 92, Heat 88

Game 2: Heat 103, Spurs 84

Game 3: Spurs 113, Heat 77

Game 4: Heat 109, Spurs 93

Game 5: Spurs 114, Heat 104

Game 6: Heat 103, Spurs 100 OT

Thursday: Heat 95, Spurs 88

LeBron James, Heat beat Spurs for NBA title 06/20/13 [Last modified: Friday, June 21, 2013 1:54am]

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