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Battier Wins NBA Title with Heat
Sunday 06/22/2012  -  Duke Sports Information
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MIAMI, Fla. -- Former Blue Devil Shane Battier and the Miami Heat captured the 2012 NBA Championship on Thursday night with a 121-106 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Battier saved his best basketball for the NBA Finals, averaging 11.6 points per game while shooting 57.7 (15-of-26) percent from three-point range. In winning the NBA title, Battier became the third Duke player -- and the second of Mike Krzyzewski's players, joining Danny Ferry -- to become an NBA champion. He is the first Blue Devil to win both an NCAA Championship and an NBA Championship.

Battier had the best NBA finals of any of Duke's three champions, thanks largely to his deadeye three-point shooting throughout the five-game series. He exploded for 17 points in back-to-back games, including a 100-96 win over the Thunder in game two in Oklahoma City. Battier knocked down multiple three-pointers in four of the five Finals games and committed just one turnover during the series.

Ferry, meanwhile, played in three games of the 2003 NBA finals, playing a minor role in helping the San Antonio Spurs best the New Jersey Nets in six games. Jeff Mullins was more productive in his Golden State Warriors' series sweep of the Washington Bullets in 1975, averaging 8.0 points 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists over the four-game set.

A defensive-minded small forward, Battier's hot streak started when Heat power forward Chris Bosh went down with an abdominal strain in the playoff series against Indianapolis. Battier moved into Bosh's spot and played a key role in Miami's Eastern Conference Finals victory over the Boston Celtics that propelled the Heat into the NBA Finals for the second straight year. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra rewarded the former NCAA Champion and three-time NABC Defensive Player of the Year by starting him during all five NBA Finals games.

In his first year with the Heat, Battier, an 11-year NBA veteran, joined an elite club of 39 players to win both an NCAA Championship and an NBA Championship. Among that group are Michael Jordan (North Carolina, Chicago Bulls), Magic Johnson (Michigan State, Los Angeles Lakers) and Kareem Abdul-Jabar (UCLA, Los Angeles Lakers), along with Battier's current Heat teammate and former Kansas star Mario Chalmers.

Battier is one of just 43 former ACC players to win an ABA or NBA Championship. Duke's Art Heyman and Steve Vacendak were both members of the 1968 ABA Champion Pittsburgh Pipers, as well.


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