MIAMI - As the Miami Heat won their first NBA championship in Dallas, thousands of fans celebrated in the team's arena 1,100 miles away, jumping on seats and screaming as the clock wound down to zero.
When the buzzer sounded, ending their team's 95-92 win Tuesday over the Mavericks, Heat fans ran out the front door of the AmericanAirlines Arena yelling, "We're the champions." Someone lit fireworks and others passed out the front page of The Miami Herald with the word "Champs" on it.
More than 10,000 people celebrated inside the downtown Miami arena after watching the live broadcast from Dallas on the big screen.
"I've been a season ticket holder since 1989. It's fun to watch them win one," said Mark Emanuele, 49, of Weston.
"It's nice to see Alonzo get his ring," said Emanuele, who was waving a handmade poster that read "NBA Champions." "I know Shaq and Wade are the key players, but Mourning played great off the bench."
Half a dozen police cars pulled up outside as the game ended and officers lined up across the street to prevent violence.
"Everything is calm so far. We're prepared, but so far things are going well," said Miami police officer Thomas Visney.
"Shaq promised a championship and we got it. I'm speechless," said Loren Gronzato, 21, of Fort Lauderdale as he called friends on his cell phone.
Early in the game, Heat fans had watched nervously as the Heat trailed by as many as 14 points and struggled with turnovers before taking a one-point lead at halftime.
The second half was much easier to watch, with the Heat holding a slim lead most of the way. The crowd favorite of the night was clear: Fans chanted "MVP" each time Wade stepped up to the line.
"Miami, we'll see you in a couple hours," said Heat coach Pat Riley before the trophy presentation in Dallas.