MIAMI — The decision is final: LeBron James made the right call coming to Miami.
Finally an NBA champion, it's all worth it now.
James had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists, and got the kind of help that was worth leaving home for, leading the Heat in a 121-106 rout of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night to win the NBA Finals in five games.
Best player in the game, best team in the league.
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James has found it all since taking his talents to South Beach.
"It means everything," James said moments after the win. "I made a difficult decision to leave Cleveland but I understood what my future was about ... I knew we had a bright future (in Miami). This is a dream come true for me. This is definitely when it pays off."
He left the game along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh for good with 3:01 remaining for a round of hugs and the start of a celebration he's been waiting for since arriving in the NBA out of high school as the No. 1 pick of the 2003 draft.
James hopped up and down in the final minutes, shared a long hug with opponent Kevin Durant, and watched the confetti rain down from the rafters.
The Heat took control in the second quarter, briefly lost it and blew it open again in the third behind their role players, James content to pass to wide-open three-point shooters while the Thunder focused their attention on him.
Bosh and Wade, the other members of the Big Three who sat alongside James as he promised titles at his Miami welcoming party two summers ago, both had strong games. Bosh, who broke down in tears as the Heat left their own court after losing Game 6 last year, finished with 24 points and Wade scored 20. The Heat also got a huge boost from Mike Miller, who made seven three-pointers and scored 23 points.
The disappointment of losing to Dallas in six games last year vanished in a blowout of the demoralized Thunder, who got 32 points and 11 rebounds from Durant.
That made it easier for James, the most heavily scrutinized player in the league since his departure from Cleveland, when he announced he was "taking his talents to South Beach" on a TV special called "The Decision" that was criticized everywhere from talk shows and water coolers straight to the commissioner's office. James has said he wishes he handled things differently, but few who watched the Cavaliers fail to assemble championship talent around him could have argued with his desire to depart.
He found in Miami a team where he never had to do it alone — though he reminded everyone during his sensational postseason run that he still could when necessary. He got support whenever he needed it in this series, from Shane Battier's 17 points in Game 2 to Mario Chalmers' 25 in Game 4.
In the clincher it was Miller, banged-up from so many recent injuries that he practically limps from the bench to scorer's table when he checks in. He made his fourth three-pointer of the half right before James' fast-break basket capped a 15-2 run that extended Miami's lead to 53-36 with 4:42 remaining in the first half. James had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists at halftime, with the Heat ahead 59-49.
Heat 121, Thunder 106
OKLAHOMA CITY (106) — Durant 13-24 3-3 32, Ibaka 3-9 3-4 9, Perkins 1-4 0-0 2, Westbrook 4-20 11-13 19, Sefolosha 0-2 0-0 0, Harden 5-11 6-6 19, Collison 1-3 0-0 2, Fisher 4-7 0-0 11, Cook 1-2 0-0 2, Aldrich 1-1 0-0 2, Hayward 1-2 0-0 2, Ivey 2-2 0-0 6. Totals 36-87 23-26 106.
MIAMI (121) — James 9-19 8-9 26, Battier 4-8 0-0 11, Bosh 9-14 5-5 24, Chalmers 3-6 2-2 10, Wade 7-12 6-9 20, Miller 7-11 2-2 23, Haslem 0-1 1-2 1, Cole 1-4 0-0 3, Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Howard 0-1 0-0 0, Turiaf 0-0 0-0 0, Harris 0-0 3-4 3. Totals 40-77 27-33 121.
Oklahoma City 26 23 22 35—106
Miami 31 28 36 26—121
Three-point goals—Oklahoma City 11-28 (Fisher 3-6, Durant 3-6, Harden 3-8, Ivey 2-2, Sefolosha 0-1, Westbrook 0-5), Miami 14-26 (Miller 7-8, Battier 3-7, Chalmers 2-4, Bosh 1-1, Cole 1-2, Jones 0-1, James 0-3). Fouled out—None. Rebounds—Oklahoma City 49 (Durant 11), Miami 48 (James 11). Assists—Oklahoma City 19 (Westbrook 6), Miami 25 (James 13). Total fouls—Oklahoma City 29, Miami 21. Flagrant Fouls—Fisher. A—20,003 (19,600).