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.

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 for 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 3-point shooters while the Thunder focused all 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 3-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 3-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.

Durant added 11 rebounds for the Thunder, who made a remarkably early trip to the NBA Finals just three years after starting 3-29. With Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and James Harden all 23 or younger, the Thunder have the pieces in place for a lengthy stay atop the Western Conference.

But their inexperience showed in this series, a few questionable decisions, possessions and outright mistakes costing them in their franchise's first playoff appearance since Seattle lost to Chicago in 1996. Westbrook scored 19 but shot only 4 of 20, unable to come up with anything close to his 43-point outing in Game 4, and Harden finished a miserable series with 19.

Nothing they done could have stopped James, anyway.

Appearing fully over the cramps that forced him to sit out the end of Game 4, he was back to his dominant self, a combination of strength and speed that is practically unmatched in the game – and rarely seen in the history of it.

Wade skipped to each side of the court before the opening tip with arms up to pump up the fans, then James showed them nothing wrong with his legs, throwing down an emphatic fast-break dunk to open the scoring. He made consecutive baskets while being fouled, showing no expression after the second, as if he'd hardly even known he was hit. Drawing so much attention from the Thunder, he started finding his wide-open shooters, and the Heat built a nine-point lead before going to the second up 31-26.

Oklahoma City got back within five early in the third before consecutive 3-pointers by Chalmers and Battier triggered a 27-7 burst that made it 88-63 on another 3-pointer by Miller. James didn't even score in the run until it was almost over, hitting a pair of free throws after he was flagrantly fouled by Derek Fisher while powering toward the basket.

Gone was the tentative player who was mocked for shrinking on the big stage last year, too willing to defer to others who didn't possess half his talents. This time, he was at peace off the court and on attack on it, vowing to have no regrets and playing in such a way they wouldn't be necessary.

James promised multiple titles at his welcoming party, and the Heat have three pieces to build around. Pat Riley will have to fill some holes on the roster, but will likely find some players eager to come to Miami for the good weather and great chance to win.

Miller was one of them last year, and though injuries have ruined his effectiveness, his shooting turned this into the only blowout of the series after Miami had outscored Oklahoma City by just 389-384 over the first four games.

Notes: Miami became the third team to sweep the middle three games at home in the 2-3-2 format. The Detroit Pistons took all three from the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004 before the Heat did it against Dallas in 2006. ... Coach Erik Spoelstra tied Riley for the Heat franchise record with his 34th postseason win. He is 34-22, while Riley was just 34-36. ... The four-game losing streak that Oklahoma City finished the season with was its longest of the season. The Thunder had dropped three straight games to Memphis, Miami and Indiana from April 2-6.

___

Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney

Loading Slideshow...
  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    A detail of the Finals logo is seen on the video board outside the arena prior to the Miami Heat hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    The Heat Street Band performs in front of the American Airlines Arena before Game 5 of the NBA finals basketball series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Thursday, June 21, 2012, in Miami.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat takes the court during player introductions against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks to pass in the first quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder runs up court against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder moves the ball in the post in the first quarter against LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Miami Heat small forward LeBron James and Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant pause between plays during the first half at Game 5 of the NBA finals basketball series, Thursday, June 21, 2012, in Miami.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Miami Heat shooting guard Mike Miller looks to pass as Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook defends during the first half at Game 5 of the NBA finals basketball series, Thursday, June 21, 2012, in Miami.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat drives in the first quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Serge Ibaka #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks in the first quarter against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    A general view of action between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat fights for control of the opening tip-off against Serge Ibaka #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks in the first half against LeBron James #6 and Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat drivers for a shot attempt in the first half against Serge Ibaka #9 and Kendrick Perkins #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder hangs on the rim after he dunked in the first half against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder attempts a shot against Mike Miller #13, LeBron James #6 and Mario Chalmers #15 of the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat and James Harden #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder fight for a loose ball in the first half of Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat drives past Kendrick Perkins of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat drives for a shot attempt in the first half against Serge Ibaka #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James and the fallen Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat go for the ball before the tumbled James Harden and Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    The ball eludes Mike Miller of the Miami Heat and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    A fan holds up a giant cardboard cutout of the Larry O'Brien Finals Championship trophy as the Miami Heat play against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat is defended by Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Mike Miller of the Miami Heat attempts a shot in the first half against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James of the Miami Heat is guarded by Thabo Sefolosha of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat attempts a shot in the first half against Nick Collison #4 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives for a dunk attempt in the firsthalf against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives for a shot attemt in the first half against the Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives for a shot attempt against Norris Cole of the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Shane Battier of the Miami Heat and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder vie for the ball during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James of the Miami Heat is guarded by Thabo Sefolosha of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Miami Heat small forward LeBron James goes to the basket as Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka from Republic of Congo defends during the first half at Game 5 of the NBA finals basketball series, Thursday, June 21, 2012, in Miami.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder covers his face as he kneels on the court in the second half against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Mario Chalmers #15 of the Miami Heat pushes Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Mike Miller #13 of the Miami Heat reacts after he made a 3-point basket in the fourth quarter against Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Mike Miller of the Miami Heat is guarded by Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Mario Chalmers and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat talk on court against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James of the Miami Heat goes to the basket against Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat react in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Fans watch game five of the 2012 NBA finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat at Havana Nines June 21, 2012 in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat celebrate late in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat celebrates after the Heat won 121-106 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James of the Miami Heat celebrates late in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The Heat won 121-106.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James of the Miami Heat celebrates late in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The Heat won 121-106.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on dejected late in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    LeBron James #6 and Mario Chalmers #15 of the Miami Heat celebrate late in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder congratulates LeBron James of the Miami Heat after the Heat won 121-106 in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Juwan Howard #5 of the Miami Heat celebrates with LeBron James #6 late in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Fans celebrate the Miami Heat's win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 NBA Finals June 21, 2012 in Miami, Florida.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    Miami Heat power forward Chris Bosh reacts after Game 5 of the NBA finals basketball seriesagainst the Oklahoma City Thunder, Thursday, June 21, 2012, in Miami. The Heat won 121-106 to become the 2012 NBA Champions

  • Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game 5

    MIAMI, FL - JUNE 21: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat celebrates with the Bill Russell Finals MVP trophy after they won 121-106 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)