Few Heat players felt the pain of last year’s NBA Finals defeat like Chris Bosh.
A year after he collapsed on the way to the Heat locker room with tears in his eyes, Bosh did everything he could to make sure the story would end differently.
Bosh finished with 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting, collected seven rebounds and delivered two big blocks to help the Heat put away the Thunder by the end of the third quarter en route to its second NBA title.
This time, Bosh thoroughly enjoyed the team’s on-court celebration as he realized the championship goal he set out for when he left the Toronto Raptors to join LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in Miami.
“We suffered through a lot together, but we love this city and we came here to win a championship,” Bosh said. “We came here to win a championship and we got it done.”
It was also a sweet finish for Bosh, who overcame an abdominal strain that forced him to miss nine playoff games.
His return in the Eastern Conference finals helped the Heat overcome a 3-2 deficit against the Celtics.
During the NBA Finals, Bosh averaged 14.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.
His ability to help the Heat on the boards and alter shots, contending with Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins, proved invaluable to Miami during its four consecutive wins. Many times Bosh forced Thunder players to adjust their shots or denied their drives to the basket.
In Thursday’s clincher, Bosh used his quickness to give Miami key points despite Oklahoma City’s frontcourt’s efforts to deny Miami the paint.
Bosh scored 10 points in first half, had four rebounds and sacrificed his body on a couple of occasions, diving for loose balls.
He drove on Perkins and Ibaka and scored a tough layup.
One of his biggest defensive highlights came midway through the second quarter.
Bosh came up with a huge block to deny Perkins a layup, and it led to a score that put the Heat in front 48-36 with 5:46 left in the second quarter.
As the Heat began to pull away in the third quarter, Bosh continued to give Miami a solid effort in the paint.
With 6:32 remaining, Bosh caused Perkins to commit his fourth foul, again taking it to the basket on him and Ibaka to put Miami up 75-63.
Bosh drew a blocking foul on James Harden with 5:25 left.
Bosh made the efforts count at the foul line, going 5for 5.
Then, similar to the 3-for-3 shooting effort from three-point range he had against the Celtics in Game 7, Bosh hit a big three-pointer during the Heat’s surge that helped extend its lead to as many as 25 in the third.