NBA Finals: San Antonio Spurs beat Miami Heat to win fifth title

Kawhi Leonard wins Finals MVP after dominant Spurs win series 4-1

The San Antonio Spurs won the fifth title in their history after beating the Miami Heat 104-87 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Although last year's Finals between these two sides was one of the best battles in recent years - Miami eventually winning an epic series 4-3 - the Spurs were utterly dominant this time, beating Miami by at least 15 points four times.

This marks the fifth time San Antonio have lifted the Larry O'Brien trophy since the organisation drafter future Hall of Fame power forward Tim Duncan with the No overall pick in 1997. Head coach Gregg Popovich has been in charge for all five of those wins, while the other two members of their 'Big Three', Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, won their fourth title last night.

But it was a new star on the Spurs team who won the Finals MVP. After poor performances in the opening two games of the series, Kawhi Leonard exploded to make this Finals his own.

In the three wins since Miami's solitary win of the series, Leonard has averaged 23 points and 9 rebounds, all while defending LeBron James, who remains the world's best player. Kawhi Leonard became the youngest Finals MVP since Magic Johnson in 1980

Aged just 22, Leonard, who scored 22 points, also becomes the youngest man to win Finals MVP since Magic Johnson did so at the same age in 1980.

The aforementioned James has again been brilliant for Miami, but has not found support from his team-mates like in he did in Miami's two title winning years.

James again played well in this defeat, scoring 31 points and adding 10 rebounds, but Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade could added 24 between them, from a combined 26 shots, while no other Heat player got into double figures as the Spurs dominated.

However, the Heat started brilliantly last night opening with a 22-6 run. Parker and sharpshooter Danny Green initially struggled before Ginobili entered from the bench to allow the Spurs to battle back in the first period.

The visiting Heat were still seven in front when the period ended, but they followed that up with their worst quarter in this year's play-offs, scoring just 11 points and giving up 25 to go in at the break down by seven.

The Spurs extended their lead in the third quarter, and the game was over by mid-way of the fourth. Getty Images A disappointed LeBron James now has a decision to make about his future

"I'm not skilled enough to explain properly how we feel. Not only me, but I'm sure Tony (Parker) and Tim (Duncan) and Pop (Gregg Popovich) feel the same way," said Ginobili who had 19 points.

"Last year was a tough one for all of us. We felt like we had the trophy, that we were touching it, and it slipped away. We all felt guilty. We got to this spot, and we didn't let it go."

James now faces a decision over his future, with the option to stay at the Heat for one more year or hit the market. Since 'The Decision' that brought him to Miami, James and the Heat have made the Finals in all four years, winning two of those.

"We lost one (Finals), we won two and we lost another one. (We'll) take 50 percent in four years in championships any day. Obviously, we want to win all of them, but that's just the nature of the game.

"Not proud of the way we played (in this series)."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Life and Style
Drinking - often heavily - is a running theme throughout HBO's Game of Thrones adaptation
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living