On This Day In Heat History: Big 3 secures first NBA Title together in 2012

Miami Heat
On this day 12 years ago, the Miami Heat won their second NBA Finals in franchise history, including the first of the Big 3 era. (Don Emmert/Getty Images)

On this day 12 years go, the Miami Heat secured their first title in the Big 3 era, which featured LeBron James, franchise icon Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. They defeated Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games, securing their first of two championships together.

Let’s reminisce, shall we?

How did we get here?

Three weeks earlier, the Big 3 era was on the brink of disaster.

After collapsing in the 2011 NBA Finals against Dallas, the Heat–who finished the shortened regular season 46-20–needed to end 2011-12 with an NBA Title.

Miami, the No. 2 seed blew the doors off Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks in the first round before dispatching the Paul George-led Pacers in the second round, the first of multiple good playoff battles in the Big 3 era.

Waiting on the other side was the Boston Celtics, led by Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo. Miami took the first two games before the No. 6-seeded Celtics won the next three–putting the Heat in a 3-2 hole heading back to Boston.

We would’ve never known the ramifications if the Heat lost Game 6 … but James didn’t let them, putting up a 45-point, 5-rebound, 5-assist masterclass. His foot was on the gas the entirety of the game from start-to-finish, leading Miami to a 19-point win in one of the most consequential games of the Big 3 era.

Miami ultimately downed Boston by 13 in Game 7–led by James and Wade, who combined to score 54 of the team’s 98 points. Bosh also had 19 points and eight rebounds off the bench on 8-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-4 from deep.

What happened?

Miami lost Game 1 to Oklahoma City to open the NBA Finals, before winning the next three games by four, six and six points, respectively. It was a hard-fought series.

Then … the avalanche happened.

James opened Game 5 with a fastbreak slam after a Chalmers steal. Miami blew the doors open in the second quarter after a quick 10-0 run–capped by a James slam–to put it up 17. The Heat subsequently put together a 19-1 run in the third quarter that gave them a 25-point advantage.

The lead didn’t get below 20 points until there was 1:21 left; 12 years ago, the Miami Heat were then able to call themselves NBA champions for the second time in franchise history.

James led the way in Game 5 with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists; he won Finals MVP after averaging 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 1.6 steals on 55.8 percent true shooting for the series.

Wade contributed with 20 points, eight rebounds, two steals and three blocks on 7-of-12 shooting; Bosh had 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting; Mike Miller had 23 points on 7-of-8 from deep and Shane Battier, one of the most important players to their run, who the Heat acquired in free agency prior to 2011-12, had 11 points on 3-of-7 shooting from 3-point range.

What a time!


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