MIAMI — Although they needed Game 7 in their last two series, the top-seeded Miami Heat lived up to the hype, winning their second straight NBA championship with a 95-88 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Heat’s win was made possible in part by the perimeter scoring of LeBron James (37 points, 12 rebounds), Dwyane Wade (23 points) and Shane Battier (18 points on 6-of-7 3-point shooting). The Heat survived an off game by Chris Bosh (no points).
The Spurs were led by Tim Duncan (24 points, 12 rebounds), Kawhi Leonard (19 points, 16 rebounds), Manu Ginobili (18 points) and Tony Parker (10 points).
With San Antonio down by two points and 45 seconds left, Duncan missed a layup and a tip-in while being guarded by the smaller Battier.
James then hit a 15-foot jumper to make it 92-88 with 28 seconds left.
A turnover by Ginobili further sunk San Antonio, and the Heat cruised from there.
It was the third NBA title overall for the Heat, who celebrated the franchise’s 25th anniversary in grand fashion.
The Heat won 82 games this season, including 66 in the regular season. That win total is fourth-best in NBA history, with the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls holding the record at 87. The Heat also had a 27-game win streak this season, second best in league history.