Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 22nd 2013 Contents MIAMI---LeBron James will always
remember his first NBA champi-
onship. History will remember this
The way the Miami Heat won---
or the way James wouldn t let them
lose---makes them one of the greats.
A Game 6 comeback when it
appeared to be over, then a stirring
Game 7 victory over a proud oppo-
nent cemented a place with the NBA s
giants for this Miami team and its
"Last year when I was sitting up
here with my first championship, I
said it was the toughest thing I had
ever done," James said. "This year,
I ll tell last year he s absolutely wrong.
This was the toughest championship
right here between the two."
And the San Antonio Spurs will
always know it s a title they let slip
James scored 37 points and grabbed
12 rebounds in a 95-88 victory late
Thursday in a tense game that was
tight until Miami pulled away in the
Capping their best season in fran-
chise history---and perhaps the three-
superstar system they used to build
it---the Heat ran off with the second
straight thriller in the first NBA Finals
to go the distance since 2010.
Two nights after his Game 6 save
when the Heat were almost elimi-
nated, James continued his unparal-
leled run through the basketball world,
with two titles and an Olympic gold
medal in the last 12 months.
"I work on my game a lot through-
out the offseason," said James, who
was MVP for the second straight
finals. "To be able to come out here
and (have) the results happen out on
the floor is the ultimate. The ulti-
He made five three-pointers,
defended Tony Parker when he had
to, and did everything else that could
ever be expected from the best player
in the game.
The Heat became the NBA s first
repeat champions since the Los Ange-
les Lakers in 2009-10, and the first
team to beat the Spurs in five NBA
"It took everything we had as a
team," Dwyane Wade said. "Credit
to the San Antonio Spurs, they re an
unbelievable team, an unbelievable
franchise. This is the hardest series
we ever had to play. But we re a
resilient team and we did whatever
Players and coaches hugged after-
ward---their respect for each other
was obvious from the opening tipoff
of Game 1 through the final buzzer.
A whisker away from a fifth title
two nights earlier, the Spurs couldn t
perhaps the last shot for Tim Duncan,
Parker and Manu Ginobili to grab
another ring together. Duncan is 37
and Ginobili will be a 36-year-old
free agent next month, the core of a
franchise whose best days may be
"In my case I still have Game 6 in
my head," Ginobili said.
"Today we played an OK game,
they just made more shots than us.
LeBron got hot. Shane (Battier), too.
Those things can happen. But being
so close and feeling that you are about
to grab that trophy, and seeing it van-
ish is very hard."
They were trying to become the
first team to win a Game 7 on the
road since Washington beat Seattle
in 1978, but those old guys ran out
of fuel just before the finish.
Fans stood, clapped and danced
as the clock ticked down, when every
score was answered by another score,
each stop followed by a better stop.
The Heat pushed their lead to six
points a few times midway through
the fourth but San Antonio kept com-
Duncan had 24 points and 12
rebounds for the Spurs, but missed
a shot and follow attempt right under
the basket with about 50 seconds left
and the Spurs trailing by two.
James followed with a jumper---
the shot the Spurs were daring him
to take earlier in the series---to make
it 92-88, sending San Antonio to a
timeout as Glenn Frey s "The Heat
Is On" blared over the arena s sound
He then came up with a steal and
made two free throws for a six-point
lead, and after Ginobili missed, James
stalked toward the sideline, knowing
it was over and that he was, once
again, the last one standing.
Wade had 23 points and ten
rebounds for the Heat, who overcame
a scoreless Chris Bosh by getting six
three-pointers and 18 points from
"It was a great series and we all
felt that," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
said. "I don t know if enjoy is the
right word, but in all honesty, even
in defeat, I m starting to enjoy what
our group accomplished already, when
you look back. And you need to do
that, to put it in perspective. So it s
no fun to lose, but we lost to a better
"And you can live with that as long
as you ve given your best, and I think
we have." (AP)
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...as James cops second straight MVP title
Daniel Vettori underwent a surgery on
his troublesome Achilles tendon in London,
in a bid to prolong his career. Vettori has
been suffering from a chronic Achilles
tendon problem and was dogged by the
injury during the Champions Trophy.
"I did indeed have surgery on
Wednesday," Vettori said. "I'm hoping it
once and for all clears up my persistent and
chronic Achilles problem and lets me train
and get fit again."
Vettori, who has been rested from the
Twenty20 squad for the two matches
against England, admitted he had no set
plans related to his recovery and comeback.
"In regards to my future, I will see how my
rehabilitation goes before I speculate on
my career. I have no set plans," he said.
New Zealand's Group A match against
Sri Lanka was Vettori's first ODI match in
two years in which he bowled six overs,
picking up one wicket and conceding 16
runs. However, he experienced discomfort
while fielding and needed saline injections
to help with the pain. Vettori also played
the final group match against England but
left the field after bowling five overs.
Vettori undergoes surgery on Achilles tendon
Miami Heat's LeBron James holds the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his left hand and the Larry O'Brien NBA Championship
Trophy after Game 7 of the NBA championships, on Thursday, in Miami. The Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 to win their second straight NBA
championship. Bill Russell is at rear. AP PHOTO
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