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  1. NBA finals: Television ratings, clearing out my reporter’s notebook

    Jun 23, 2012, 8:01 AM EDT

    Miami Heat's James celebrates near the end of Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Miami

    I had a ton of notes I took at points in Miami during the NBA finals and all of it didn’t get into posts. So I’m closing out my notebook with bullet points to put a little bow on the NBA finals. • People like to watch stars. LeBron James and Kevin Durant, the Heat…

  2. Video: NBA micro-movie Game 5 — Thunder vs. Heat

    Jun 22, 2012, 4:04 PM EDT

    The Miami Heat celebrate their victory i

    Thunder fans, you may want to avert your eyes. This wasn’t a pretty ending to your season. But it was a real coronation of the Miami Heat as champions that turned into a rout and a 12-minute fourth quarter party leading up to the win. Miami could do no wrong — LeBron James recorded a…

  3. Video: Kevin Durant cries after losing in NBA finals

    Jun 22, 2012, 9:15 AM EDT

    Kevin Durant

    He’s going to take heat for this from some of you. The same way Chris Bosh did last year. It’s not manly to cry. He is a mama’s boy. You say that and you would be wrong. What we want from our stars is for them to care. To care about the team, to care…

  4. Thunder, coach Scott Brooks still fighting over new contract

    Jun 22, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

    Scott Brooks

    The NBA finals were not Scott Brooks finest hour. He lived with players that were struggling — Kendrick Perkins — while leaving players impacting the game more on the bench. He didn’t stick with his rotations. Perkins even called him out. But Brooks is part of the family, the young coach that has grown up…

  5. Video: Miami Heat rain down threes on Thunder

    Jun 22, 2012, 1:56 AM EDT

    Miami Heat's Miller shoots over Oklahoma City Thunder's Westbrook during the first quarter in Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals in Miami

    It has always been the fear of other teams facing the Miami Heat — with two of the best dribble penetration guys in the league in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, if they their shooters started knocking down threes they were going to be unbeatable. As evidence, we present you every three from the Heat’s…

  6. Thunder learn one more painful lesson, talk about taking one more step

    Jun 22, 2012, 1:40 AM EDT

    Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook

    To a man, as they hugged the Larry O’Brien trophy, Miami Heat players said the sting of losing in the finals last year drove them to their win this year. They felt the pain, absorbed the lessons and got better. As the clock was winding down and the party was winding up inside AmericanAirlines Arena…

  7. Miami Heat are your NBA champions, rout Thunder 121-106; LeBron MVP

    Jun 21, 2012, 11:50 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game Five

    The King has his ring. Finally playing like the team the rest of the league feared Miami Heat roared to an NBA title Thursday night. NBA finals LeBron James had a triple double in the biggest game of his career, Heat role players drained threes like they were layups, the Heat offense fired on all…

  8. NBA finals Game 5: Heat look like team on mission, lead 59-49 at half

    Jun 21, 2012, 10:35 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game Five

    There were long stretches in previous playoff rounds where the Heat just were not focused. Where they took games and quarters off. It cost them. But after the first game of the NBA finals ended, the Heat have stepped up every game. And in Game 5, with the chance to close out the Thunder and…

  9. NBA finals pre-Game 5 notes: Harden’s hand and some coach speak

    Jun 21, 2012, 8:00 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder James Harden durin

    MIAMI — Some notes from inside the AmericanAirlines Arena before Game 5 between the Thunder and Heat: • Thunder coach Scott Brooks said James Harden and his bruised left hand were “fine.” “He bruised his left hand, but he’s not affected,” Brooks said. “That kid is as tough as anybody on our team. He understands…

  10. Juwan Howard might “shed a tear” for LeBron if Heat win

    Jun 21, 2012, 2:50 PM EDT

    Heat players Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Mario Chalmers and Mike Miller joke around during a team practice at the NBA basketball finals in Miami

    LeBron James has always been a popular teammate. The guys in the locker room in Cleveland and Miami genuinely like him, see him as one of the guys and not aloof like some superstars. That includes the Heat’s senior statesmen Juwan Howard. He spoke with the Palm Beach Post about it after shootaround Wednesday before…

  11. NBA finals Game 5, Thunder—Heat: Five things to watch

    Jun 21, 2012, 1:56 PM EDT

    Dwyane Wade, LeBron James

    By the fifth game of an NBA series, there are not a lot of surprises left. There is no magical adjustment or lineup that hasn’t already been tried. The coaches have played their cards, made their tweaks, figured out the matchups they want and don’t want. It’s about execution. That’s where we stand heading into…

  12. Spoelstra on LeBron, Heat: “You can’t win unless you win”

    Jun 21, 2012, 12:47 PM EDT

    Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Seven

    No matter what decision LeBron James made after “the decision” he could not win. Every move, every choice following his entrance to Miami was going to be scrutinized and criticized. That’s not going to stop if the Miami Heat win the NBA title with a Game 5 win Thursday night. But it might slow down.…

  13. How LeBron James found his focus these playoffs

    Jun 21, 2012, 10:17 AM EDT

    Miami Heat player LeBron James attends a

    LeBron James plays his best when he is comfortable. He’s not wired like a Kobe Bryant or Kevin Garnett, who turn insults real and perceived into fuel that motivates them and gets them into their zone. LeBron needs to tune out the outside world to get in his zone, and in playoff runs past he…

  14. James Harden has bruised hand, will play in Game 5

    Jun 21, 2012, 9:35 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder player James Harde

    Thunder sixth man James Harden is going to play in Game 5. The Thunder need him to start playing well, but that’s another issue. Thunder officials confirm Harden has a bruised hand but that it is not severe and he will go on Thursday night in Miami. The injury took place during Game 4 Tuesday…

  15. Thunder want to remind you that you counted them out before

    Jun 20, 2012, 5:40 PM EDT

    Thabo Sefolosha, Reggie Jackson, Kevin Durant, Kendrick Perkins

    MIAMI — Just a couple weeks ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder were down 2-0 to a San Antonio Spurs team that had won 20 games in a row and looked pretty dominant doing it. Everyone was starting to picture how the Spurs matched up with the East. Four games later, the Thunder were in the…

  16. LeBron says he feels better, rest of Heat sound business like

    Jun 20, 2012, 4:32 PM EDT

    Udonis Haslem, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade

    MIAMI — There was a calm confidence around the Miami Heat as they went through practice Wednesday in preparation for Game 5 Thursday night. You could sense it. They may be up 3-1 with a chance to close it out, but they were business like. “Honestly, it feels like a normal prep day,” Shane Battier…

  17. Reflective LeBron admits he was “immature” last year

    Jun 20, 2012, 4:08 PM EDT

    LeBron James

    MIAMI — This was a different LeBron James. The LeBron James that went through practice and spoke with the media Wednesday was different from the one at last year’s finals — a more mature, more relaxed LeBron who was comfortable in his own skin in a way he simply was not before. Different than the…

  18. Video: Micro-Movie of NBA finals Game 4 win for Heat

    Jun 20, 2012, 1:42 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game Four

    These NBA finals have been fun. Entertaining. Two teams both giving it full effort. The total score through four games is Miami +5. That’s it. The series has been that close. The only sad part is that they may not go on a whole lot longer. So take a moment to enjoy Game 4 —…

  19. Thunder try to keep heads high, but Game 4 was a punch to the gut

    Jun 20, 2012, 11:03 AM EDT

    Derek Fisher, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, James Harden

    What frustrates its players and fans most is Oklahoma City is not getting blown out of the NBA finals. They may be down 3-1 in the series but every game has been close — in total points it is Heat +5 though four games. That’s it. But it didn’t feel like that in the Thunder…

  20. LeBron now has signature moment, will soon have ring, too

    Jun 20, 2012, 8:57 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game Four

    That, right there, is the signature moment all superstar champions have. Michael Jordan has the flu game. Magic the baby sky-hook. Think of Dr. J and you think of the up-and-under scoop in the finals. And so it goes for every superstar. LeBron James needed one because he is soon going to both have a…

  21. Kendrick Perkins has no idea what Scott Brooks is doing, either

    Jun 20, 2012, 1:53 AM EDT

    Scott Brooks

    All series long Thunder coach Scott Brooks has been taking flack for his handling of the Thunder rotations — sitting Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook at the same time, leaving guys with hot hands on the bench, not seeming to have a feel for his team. It’s not just you and me, Kendrick Perkins feels…

  22. NBA finals Game 4: LeBron, Heat play through pain to reach brink of a title

    Jun 20, 2012, 1:24 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game Four

    One year ago, the Miami Heat were ahead 2-1 in the finals against Dallas and up 9 points in Game 4. Then they learned some very painful lessons. This year, the Heat were again up 2-1 and this time were down 94-92 with four minutes remaining. Adding to their woes, LeBron James was on the…

  23. NBA finals Game 4: Westbrook carries Thunder to 49-46 lead at half

    Jun 19, 2012, 10:24 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game Four

    Welcome to the Russell Westbrook show. With the rest of the Thunder playing pretty pedestrian ball, Westbrook had 18 first half points on 9-of-15 shooting to lead the Thunder to an 49-46 lead at the half. You get the feeling a real barnburner of a second half awaits. As expected, the Thunder came out with…

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