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NBA Finals -- How sweet it is, Miami wins back-to-back titles


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- Whatever sliver of doubt was left on whether he can deliver in the clutch, LeBron James put it all to bed Thursday night when he drilled a 19-foot mid-range jumper that sealed Game 7 of 2013 NBA Finals, giving the Miami Heat their second straight championship before a delirious home crowd at the American Airlines Arena.

In by far the biggest game of his already highly-decorated career, in a Game 7 where his legacy was supposedly on the line, the King pocketed his second straight NBA Finals MVP plum with a 37-point, 12-rebound masterpiece. The King made 12-of-23 field goals, 5-of-10 3s and all eight of his free throws.

"I put a lot of work into it and to come out here and (have) the results happen on the floor is the ultimate. The ultimate. I'm at a loss for words," a relieved James told reporters during the postgame press conference.

The Spurs, winners of four NBA titles, lost their first NBA Finals series in five tries. And they went down fighting, giving the defending champions Heat all they could handle before ultimately losing, 95-88.

"The obvious word is disappointing. Tough end to the game. Made some bad decisions, missed some tough shots. I don't know what to say. Just give credit to the Miami Heat," a heartbroken Tim Duncan told reporters. One of the best to ever play the power forward position, Duncan shockingly missed a point-blank lay-up that could have tied the score at 90-90 in the final 48 seconds of the fourth quarter.

Duncan led the Spurs with 24 points and 12 rebounds while the tender, 21-year old Kawhi Leonard showed remarkable poise and star potential with 19 points and 16 boards. Despite four turnovers, Manu Ginobili turned in a good 18 points, but Tony Parker had a dreadfully disappointing night, making only three of 12 field goals to finish with a lame 10 points and four assists.

Danny Green, who was on fire through the first five games and broke Ray Allen's record of 22 made 3s in a single NBA Finals series, was just awful in Game 7. He missed 11 of 12 shots and looked lost in the biggest game of his four-year NBA career. Gary Neal also struggled, going just 2-for-7 for five points.

As great as James was in this Game 7 clincher, he got plenty of help.

Dwyane Wade, plodding through a injured knees throughout this postseason, tallied 23 points on 11-for-21 shooting. The Flash also had 10 assists. Plagued by foul trouble, Chris Bosh was held scoreless with seven rebounds, but Shane Battier came out of nowehere to sink six triples, including a big one that gave the Heat an 88-82 cushion with 3:19 to go.

The Spurs demonstrated uncommon class and sportsmanship after the final buzzer. Head coach Gregg Popovich and the Spurs' players lingered on the floor as the confetti rained and congratulated the Heat for their mighty feat.

"We lost to a better team and you can live with that as long as you know you gave your best," Popovich said. (Homer D. Sayson)

Photo: The Heat, with Dwyane Wade cradling the Larry O'Brien trophy and LeBron James holding the NBA Finals MVP trophy, celebrate their second straight NBA title Thursday night at the American Airlines Arena.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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