Miami Heat NBA Finals 2013 champions: San Antonio Spurs defeated 95-88 in Game 7
Steve Almasy CNN
4:39 AM, Jun 21, 2013
11:34 AM, Jun 21, 2013
(CNN) -- It was a fitting end to a tense back-and-forth series that saw several unlikely players taking key roles. But ultimately, it came down to the top basketball player in the league.
He brought his talents to South Beach three years ago. On Thursday night, he silenced his critics -- at least until October -- by leading the Miami Heat to its second consecutive NBA title with a 95-88 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
The four-time league MP had a series-high 37 points, 12 rebounds and four assists to earn his second ring.
"This team is amazing," he said. "And the vision that I had when I decided to come here (in 2010) is all coming true."
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said James was the difference in winning and losing. He was ecstatic for the player from whom so much is expected.
"You're always happy for guys when they're so dedicated," he said. And we all know his work ethic. ... He always rises to the occasion when it matters the most, when the competition is fiercest."
James hit a long jumper with 27.9 seconds remaining in the game to give the Heat a four-point lead then locked up the win with two free throws after stealing a pass from the Spurs' Manu Ginobili.
Dwyane Wade chipped in 23 points for the Heat, who won their third title overall.