Bloomberg News

LeBron James Leads Heat to Win Over Celtics to Reach NBA Finals

June 10, 2012

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined to outscore the Boston Celtics 28-15 in the final quarter to break a tie and advance to the National Basketball Association finals with a 101-88 victory.

The Heat will face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the best- of-seven Finals starting June 12. The Thunder eliminated the San Antonio Spurs in six games for the Western Conference crown.

James had 31 points and 12 rebounds, Wade added 23 and Bosh scored 19 for the Heat, who won the final two games of the series after falling behind 3-2 with three straight losses.

“I just wanted to play well,” James said in a televised interview. “You know this whole season I got back to what I know I’m capable of doing.”

After rallying from a 53-46 deficit, the Heat were tied at 73-73 entering the fourth quarter when James, Wade and Bosh scored all 28 points for Miami on their home court at AmericanAirlines Arena.

“It was a collective group for us to win a championship,” James said. “Everybody had a big part of this win.”

James said Bosh, who missed nine playoff games with a lower abdominal strain, showed “energy in his effort. We missed him. Happy to have him back at just the right time.”

Bosh said he hoped he would be ready to contribute.

‘Be Ready’

“You never know what life throws you,” Bosh said. “I just wanted to be ready. I kept playing the games over and over in my head.”

Rajon Rondo had a triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists and Paul Pierce added 19 points for the Celtics.

James, a three-time NBA Most Valuable Player who came to Miami promising championships, will get a chance to win his first in the Finals against a Thunder team led by Kevin Durant, who finished second to James in the MVP voting this season.

James left the Cleveland Cavaliers as a free agent for the Heat in 2010 with the nationally televised proclamation that he had decided to “take my talents to South Beach.” He later declared that he and fellow All-Stars Wade and Bosh would lead the Heat to at least seven NBA titles in addition to the one Miami won in 2006.

“And when I say that, I really believe it,” James said at a public rally to officially welcome him and Bosh to Miami. “We believe we can win multiple championships if we take care of business and do it the right way.”

The Heat last year reached the NBA Finals before losing to the Dallas Mavericks in six games.

“I’m happy for this group of brothers,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “It’s made us tougher and we’ll need it for the next series.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Gloster in San Francisco at rgloster@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net


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