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NBA Finals: Heat routs Thunder in Game 5 to claim NBA title

LeBron James capped his title bid with 26 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds, Chris Bosh added 23 points, Dwyane Wade scored 20 points and the Heat finished off the Thunder in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night, winning 121-106.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: June 21, 2012

MIAMI, Fla. — It started with so much promise.

How quickly it all went south it seems no one saw coming.

The Oklahoma City Thunder certainly could not have been prepared for how painful it would be.

“It hurts,” said Kevin Durant, shortly after collapsing into his mother's arms and crying on her shoulder. “It hurts, man.”

In its first trip to the NBA Finals, the Thunder suffered a 4-1 series loss to the Miami Heat. The series clincher, a 121-106 decision, came Thursday night inside American Airlines Arena.

It was the haymaker in a fight that the Heat had under control from nearly start to finish. Oklahoma City trailed by as many as 27 points Thursday, as Miami removed all doubt that this title belonged on South Beach.

“They beat us fair and square,” said coach Scott Brooks. “They were the better team in this series, and like I told our guys, there's nothing to be ashamed of. They gave everything they had. It just wasn't enough this year.”

Miami made quick work of the Thunder after OKC took a 1-0 series lead. The Heat won the next four, exposing the Thunder's inexperience more and more each step of the way. In winning Games 3, 4 and 5, the Heat became only the third home team since the NBA Finals adopted the 2-3-2 format in 1985 to sweep all three middle games. The Heat also did it in 2006. The 2004 Pistons were the only other team to do so.

“We worked so hard and we had an amazing season from start to finish,” said James Harden. “Just a couple of possessions, a couple of games short of our goal.”

Immediately, the Thunder had learned a lesson.

“I think now we know that every possession in the Finals matters,” Harden said. “It counts.”

Those possessions piled up and cost the Thunder the championship. This series shifted only because of a handful of troubling trends that the Thunder simply couldn't overcome.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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