Miami Heat Defeat OKC Thunder in 5 Games to Claim NBA Championship

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIJune 21, 2012

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 19:  Fans cheer as LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat runs back down court after making a basket in the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 19, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Heat have won their second NBA championship in franchise history by defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games. 

The Heat lost the opening game, but then reeled off four wins in a row to secure the title in front of their elated fans.

The first four games were closely contested, and no team won by a double-digit margin, but the Heat dominated Game 5 and won 121-106.

LeBron James capped off an incredible postseason with 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds.

The 2012 NBA MVP signed with the Heat in 2010, and the Ohio native took a significant amount of criticism for leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to sign with fellow superstar Dwyane Wade.

James, in his ninth season, is considered the best all-around player in the NBA, but has been lambasted for his inability to come through late in games and push his team to a title.

Team president Pat Riley is responsible for drawing James and Chris Bosh to Miami to create the core of the championship roster.

The Heat were upset in the finals last season when they lost in six games to the Dallas Mavericks. After the loss, critics felt that head coach Erik Spoelstra should step down and allow Riley to take control of the team. 

Even with the Big Three in place, questions remained about the rest of the roster.

Mike Miller provided an unexpected spark off the bench. He hit seven three-pointers and finished with 23 points. 

Shane Battier, who signed with the team this season, finished with double-digit points in three of the five games in this series. 

All the questions about Spoelstra’s coaching, the role players and James’ ability to win a championship have been definitively answered. 

This is the first championship for Spoelstra, James, Bosh, Battier and Miller, while it is the second for Dwyane Wade.