Originally posted on Sports-Glory  |  Last updated 6/11/12

For the first time since 1997 the league MVP and the scoring champion will face off for a title.  The Oklahoma City Thunder locked up the Western Conference by winning four straight games while the Miami Heat needed seven games to claim the Eastern Conference.  

The reining and three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant and the reigning and three-time MVP LeBron James will battle for the crown that both have been after since they started playing basketball.  

The last Finals to have both the league's scoring champion and MVP play each other was in 1997 when Michael Jordan's Bulls beat Karl Malone's Jazz.  This is the fifth time since 1967 that the scoring champ faced the MVP in the Finals.  The scoring champ has won three out four.  

The Thunder had to knock off three teams that have owned the Western Conference for the last 13 years, the Mavericks, Lakers and Spurs on their road to the Finals.  The Thunder are the first team outside those three to represent the Western Conference in the Finals since the Jazz did it in 1997 and 1998.  

The Thunder down 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals to the Spurs, who had won 20 straight, battled back and closed out the series with Durant's 34 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists in Game 6.  

This is the Thunders first appearance in the Finals since the franchise was back in Seattle in 1996.  

The Heat needed every game in both the conference semifinals against Indiana and conference finals against Boston after losing Chris Bosh for nine straight games with an abdominal strain.  James came up big for the Heat in Game 6 of the conference finals with a 45-point, 15-rebound and 5-assist performance to tie the series.  In Game 7, James once again shined along with Chris Bosh as the Heat outlasted Boston and danced to the Finals.

James and Durant worked out together in the offseason in what they called "Hell Week", now the two will battle and face off in a matchup everyone's been waiting for.  Only one will solidify their legacy by holding up a Larry O'Brien trophy.

Date Venue Time Game 1 Tues., June 12 at Oklahoma City 9 p.m. ABC Game 2 Thurs., June 14 at Oklahoma City 9 p.m. ABC Game 3 Sun., June 17 at Miami 8 p.m. ABC Game 4 Tues., June 19 at Miami 9 p.m. ABC Game 5* Thurs., June 21 at Miami 9 p.m. ABC Game 6* Sun., June 24 at Oklahoma City 8 p.m. ABC Game 7* Tues., June 26 at Oklahoma City 9 p.m.



Heat Serge Ibaka F Shane Battier Kevin Durant F LeBron James Kendrick Perkins C Chris Bosh Thabo Sefolosha G Dwyane Wade Russell Westbrook G Mario Chalmers


Bracket by NBA.com

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