The moments that made an MVP season

Associated Press Published: May 12, 2012
Advertisement
;

MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James wears jersey No. 6 in Miami, so here's six memorable moments from the season where the Heat star became just the eighth player in NBA history to win a third MVP award. The announcement was made by the NBA on Saturday:

___

6. The Closer

James scored 12 points in the final 3:02 of a game at home against Philadelphia on April 3, capping what became a season-high 41-point effort for the eventual MVP. The 76ers got within three points late, before James made two jump shots in a 24-second span to provide some breathing room, then sealed the win with an alley-oop dunk less than a minute later — closing a possession extended by Shane Battier diving to control an offensive rebound.

Quotable: "It was a big play. The dunk, it was the easy part, honestly." — James.

___

5. The Flurry

Miami was trailing 63-49 at halftime of a home game against San Antonio on Jan. 17, a game where James played through flu-like symptoms in the first two quarters. Whatever James did to feel better at intermission apparently worked wonders. The Heat went from getting blown out to a blowout win, with James outscoring the Spurs 17-12 in the third quarter by himself, keying a 23-1 run with three 3-pointers in a span of less than two minutes, and Miami won 120-98.

Quotable: "There's not much you can do. He was on fire." — Spurs guard Tony Parker.

___

4. The Opener

James and the Heat went into Dallas on Christmas Day, watched the Mavericks raise the NBA championship banner that they earned at Miami's expense last season, then started this season with an absolute blowout. James finished with 37 points, 10 rebounds and six assists — no other player had totals like that in a game all season — and the Heat led by as many as 35 at one point before settling on a 105-94 victory.

Quotable: "It was showtime." — Heat guard Mario Chalmers.

___

3. The Statement

It was less than two weeks after the Heat went into Oklahoma City and got battered, so Miami needed a response when the Thunder came to Miami on April 4. The game is maybe best remembered for James getting pulled down by Russell Westbrook from behind on a fast break and taking an awkward tumble. He was fine, proving it by completing a 23-point first half with a jumper to give Miami the lead at the halftime buzzer, and finished with 34 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in a 98-93 win.