MIAMI, FL - JUNE 09: Dwyane Wade and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat celebrate after the Heat defeat the Boston Celtics 101-88 and adcance to the NBA Finals in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 9, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

2012 NBA Playoffs Round 3 Update: 6/9 - King James Leads Miami Heat to Promise Land

LeBron James has answered the critics — for now.

James led the Miami Heat to a 101-88 victory in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals over the Boston Celtics on Saturday night and helped stamp the Heat’s ticket to their second straight NBA Finals.

James finished with game-high’s 31 points and 12 rebounds in the win, Dwayne Wade assisted with 23 points and six boards, and Chris Bosh chipped in with 19 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Bosh was terrific all game long and was arguably the most important player for Miami in the game.

Miami’s “Big Three” combined for the team’s final 31 points of the contest, including all 28 scored in the fourth quarter.

The Heat’s role players were great in the first three periods as Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem combined for 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting while also grabbing a collective 10 caroms. Chalmers also dished out seven assists in the contest.

Shane Battier didn’t take a shot from inside the arc in the game but still poured in 12 points on four-of-nine shooting from long-range. He added three steals, one assist, and one blocked shot in 39 minutes of action.

Boston had all five starters reach double-figures in the match-up, led by star point guard Rajon Rondo who messed around and got a triple-double in the game with 22 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. Kevin Garnett scored 15 points and grabbed seven boards, Brandon Bass chipped in with 16 points, five rebounds and four steals, Paul Pierce poured in 19, and Ray Allen rounded out the double-digit scorers with 15 points.

Boston’s bench was non-existent, shooting a combined one-of-four from the field with the lone basket coming from back-up big man Ryan Hollins. Four of the seven reserves who got action didn’t even attempt a shot.

The Heat will play the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals in a much antipaticed match-up that features the reigning 3-time MVP LeBron James verse the reigning 3-time NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant.

Game 1 is Tuesday (6/12) at 8:30 PM (ET).

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Tags: Boston Celtics Brandon Bass Chris Bosh Dwyane Wade Kevin Durant Kevin Garnett LeBron James Mario Chalmers Miami Heat NBA Playoffs Oklahoma City Thunder Paul Pierce Rajon Rondo Ray Allen Ryan Hollins Shane Battier Udonis Haslem

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