MIAMI (AP) — Semanas antes del inicio de la temporada, LeBron James y Kevin Durant se reunieron para cuatro días de intensos entrenamientos.

Volverán a verse a partir del martes en la final de la NBA cuando el Heat de Miami de James enfrente al Thunder de Oklahoma City de Durant.

Ninguno jugaba a su nivel actual cuando James invitó a Durant a que entrenaran juntos —durante el cierre patronal de la NBA— en la localidad de Akron, en la que reside el primero, en Ohio.

Ahora que James intenta ganar su primer anillo de campeón, Durant se le ha interpuesto en el camino.

"¡Me parece justo! ¡Me parece justo!", expresó James. "Estábamos ansiosos por este desafío. Será una gran prueba para nosotros", apuntó.

James jugó a un nivel raramente visto contra los Celtics de Boston en la final de la Conferencia del Este.

De acuerdo con la firma STATS LLC, James se convirtió en el primer jugador desde Shaquille O'Neal en la final de 2000 que logra seis partidos de 30 puntos en una serie de postemporada.

En el único encuentro en el que James no logró 30 unidades, terminó con 29 en el cuarto partido, en el que salió de la cancha por acumulación de faltas en tiempo de prórroga.

¿Qué equipo será campeón de la NBA?

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James promedió 33,6 puntos y 11 rebotes por encuentro ante Boston, con eficacia en lanzamientos de 53%. Consiguió cinco partidos con al menos 30 puntos y 10 rebotes en la temporada regular y después logró lo mismo en cinco ocasiones tan solo en la serie contra Boston.

"James tuvo un juego totalmente brillante en la postemporada, y todos lo sabemos", dijo el entrenador del Heat Erik Spoelstra. "Lo suyo es histórico, nos impulsa con su voluntad. No damos por seguro el triunfo con su talento, su voluntad o su competitividad. Sin embargo, necesitamos cada aporte suyo. Se está exigiendo a él mismo más allá de sus límites y está exigiendo también al resto del equipo".

Hubo numerosos momentos de celebración para el Heat el sábado en la noche, porque el equipo se alzó de nuevo con el boleto para la final de la NBA con su victoria por 101-88 sobre los Celtics séptimo partido.

James fue criticado la campaña anterior por achicarse en los momentos cruciales, pero ha sido un estelar en todo el sentido de la palabra esta postemporada, luego que no pudo conquistar la anterior final de la NBA.

Incluso durante el cierre patronal, James se esforzó por mejorar: entrenar dos veces al día, estudiar con Hakeem Olajuwon, hacer yoga, boxeo, correr en arena de playa, e incluso pedirle a Durant que viniera a Akron para que practicaran juntos algunos días.

Y mírenlos ahora: dos súper estrellas preparados para luchar por el título.

"Fue lo que imaginé cada día que entrenamos", dijo James. "Capté su pasión, capté lo que le motivaba".

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  • Miami Heat se coronó campeón de la NBA 2012, al vencer en la final 121-106 al Thunder en el quinto juego

  • Miami Heat se coronó campeón de la NBA 2012, al vencer en la final 121-106 al Thunder en el quinto juego

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  • Miami Heat se coronó campeón de la NBA 2012, al vencer en la final 121-106 al Thunder en el quinto juego

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  • Miami Heat se coronó campeón de la NBA 2012, al vencer en la final 121-106 al Thunder en el quinto juego

  • Miami Heat se coronó campeón de la NBA 2012, al vencer en la final 121-106 al Thunder en el quinto juego

  • Miami Heat se coronó campeón de la NBA 2012, al vencer en la final 121-106 al Thunder en el quinto juego

  • Miami Heat se coronó campeón de la NBA 2012, al vencer en la final 121-106 al Thunder en el quinto juego

  • Miami Heat se coronó campeón de la NBA 2012, al vencer en la final 121-106 al Thunder en el quinto juego

  • Miami Heat se coronó campeón de la NBA 2012, al vencer en la final 121-106 al Thunder en el quinto juego

  • Miami Heat se coronó campeón de la NBA 2012, al vencer en la final 121-106 al Thunder en el quinto juego

  • Miami Heat se coronó campeón de la NBA 2012, al vencer en la final 121-106 al Thunder en el quinto juego

  • Miami Heat se coronó campeón de la NBA 2012, al vencer en la final 121-106 al Thunder en el quinto juego

  • Miami Heat se coronó campeón de la NBA 2012, al vencer en la final 121-106 al Thunder en el quinto juego

  • Miami Heat se coronó campeón de la NBA 2012, al vencer en la final 121-106 al Thunder en el quinto juego

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