The Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 to win the 2012 NBA Finals in five games at American Airlines Arena on Thursday.
Reigning NBA MVP LeBron James has won the first title of his career, as has much-maligned All-Star forward Chris Bosh. All-Star guard Dwyane Wade gets a ring to add to the one he won in 2006. James was the no-brainer Finals MVP in his third trip to the Finals.
Two former members of the Portland Trail Blazers -- James Jones and Juwan Howard -- earn rings. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra -- who played basketball for the University of Portland and is the son of former Blazers executive Jon Spoelstra -- gets his first title as head coach after serving as an assistant in 2006.
The Heat finish the playoffs 16-7 after defeating the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics in succession in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Thunder wind up 13-7 after knocking out the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference playoffs.
Thus ends the ill-fated, 66-game 2011-12 lockout-shortened season. Let us never speak of it again.
The 2012 NBA Draft is one week from Thursday night. The Las Vegas Summer League begins on July 13.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter