LeBron scores career-best 61

LeBron James slips through the Bobcats defense on the way to surpassing Glen Rice’s 56 points to set the Heat record.

Associated Press

LeBron James slips through the Bobcats defense on the way to surpassing Glen Rice’s 56 points to set the Heat record.

MIAMI — Best player. Best game of his career. LeBron James clearly isn't ready to concede his MVP award to anyone yet.

Dazzling from inside and out, James put on the best scoring show of his career on Monday, scoring 61 as the Heat beat the Bobcats 124-107.

It was the eighth straight win for the two-time defending champions.

James made 22 of 33 shots from the field, including his first eight 3-pointers.

"The man above has given me some unbelievable abilities to play the game of basketball," James said. "I just try to take advantage of it every night. I got the trust of my teammates and my coaching staff to go in there and let it go."

His career best had been 56 points, on March 20, 2005, for Cleveland against Toronto. Glen Rice scored 56 to set the old Heat record on April 15, 1995, against Orlando.

James had 24 points at halftime, then added 25 in the third quarter. The record-breaker came with 5:46 left, when James spun through three defenders for a layup.

"There was an efficiency to what he was doing," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who considered benching James after the third quarter. "The rim looked like an ocean for him."

Chris Bosh scored 15 for the Heat, and former FSU standout Toney Douglas added 10. Miami guard Dwyane Wade got a night off to rest.

Al Jefferson had 38 points and 19 rebounds for the Bobcats.

"You take away his 61 points," Jefferson said jokingly, "and we still had a fighting chance there at the end."

Charlotte has allowed the two biggest single-game scoring totals this season. Carmelo Anthony had 62 for the Knicks against the Bobcats.

NETS reportedly KEEP COLLINS: The Nets plan to sign Jason Collins to a second 10-day contract, the Associated Press reported. Collins signed his original deal on Feb. 23, becoming the NBA's first openly gay player, and it expires today. The Nets then will re-sign him for another 10 days on Wednesday. Collins played the final minutes of a winning home debut as the Nets defeated the Bulls 96-80. Collins checked in to a standing ovation from a sellout crowd of 17,732 that included former NBA commissioner David Stern with 2:41 remaining. He committed a quick foul and missed his only shot.

KAREEM WOULD RETURN: Hall of Fame player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is interested in returning to the Bucks, his original team that traded him to the Lakers. "If I get a call, I will definitely offer my services," said Abdul-Jabbar. "There's nothing on the table right now. A couple of people have asked me and if I had the chance to be part of this franchise again, I would take it." Abdul-Jabbar played with Milwaukee from 1969-75, winning a championship in 1970.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson was set to return Monday against the Timberwolves after missing nearly a month because of a left rib fracture.

Heat 124, Bobcats 107

CHARLOTTE (107): Kidd-Gilchrist 3-4 2-2 8, McRoberts 3-6 0-0 7, Jefferson 18-24 2-4 38, Walker 3-8 1-2 7, Neal 3-11 2-2 10, Zeller 4-7 2-4 10, Douglas-Roberts 3-9 4-5 12, Tolliver 4-10 1-2 12, Biyombo 0-0 0-0 0, Ridnour 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 42-82 14-21 107.

MIAMI (124): James 22-33 9-12 61, Battier 1-4 0-0 3, Bosh 6-14 2-2 15, Chalmers 1-7 2-2 4, Douglas 4-5 0-0 10, Allen 3-7 0-0 9, Cole 1-2 0-0 2, Andersen 3-3 0-0 7, Beasley 1-2 2-2 4, Oden 2-2 0-0 4, Haslem 1-3 1-2 3, Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Liggins 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 46-83 16-20 124.

Charlotte 26 28 25 28— 107

Miami 29 31 38 26— 124

3-Point GoalsCharlotte 9-23 (Tolliver 3-8, Neal 2-4, Douglas-Roberts 2-4, McRoberts 1-2, Ridnour 1-2, Walker 0-3), Miami 16-28 (James 8-10, Allen 3-5, Douglas 2-3, Andersen 1-1, Battier 1-2, Bosh 1-3, Cole 0-1, Beasley 0-1, Chalmers 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsCharlotte 47 (Jefferson 19), Miami 41 (Bosh, James 7). AssistsCharlotte 27 (Walker 8), Miami 18 (Chalmers 7). Total FoulsCharlotte 16, Miami 18. A19,727 (19,600).

Grizzlies 110, Wizards 104

MEMPHIS (110): Prince 8-11 3-3 21, Randolph 7-16 2-3 16, Gasol 4-10 2-4 10, Conley 7-14 4-4 20, Lee 4-7 1-1 9, Allen 3-6 1-1 7, Davis 2-3 0-0 4, M.Miller 3-6 2-2 10, Calathes 3-4 0-0 6, Koufos 2-2 3-3 7. Totals 43-79 18-21 110.

WASHINGTON (104): Booker 7-13 1-2 15, Ariza 5-9 1-2 15, Gortat 7-12 2-2 16, Wall 8-16 5-7 23, Beal 7-15 6-6 21, Singleton 1-4 0-0 2, Harrington 2-5 2-2 6, A.Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Gooden 0-2 0-0 0, Porter Jr. 2-4 0-0 6. Totals 39-81 17-21 104.

Memphis 20 30 29 31— 110

Washington 20 25 19 40— 104

3-Point GoalsMemphis 6-13 (M.Miller 2-3, Prince 2-3, Conley 2-4, Calathes 0-1, Lee 0-2), Washington 9-19 (Ariza 4-6, Porter Jr. 2-3, Wall 2-5, Beal 1-2, Singleton 0-1, Harrington 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMemphis 42 (Randolph 10), Washington 43 (Gortat 8). AssistsMemphis 26 (Gasol 8), Washington 18 (Wall 9). Total FoulsMemphis 21, Washington 22. TechnicalsMemphis defensive three second 2. A14,065 (20,308).

Nets 96, Bulls 80

CHICAGO (80): Dunleavy 3-9 0-0 8, Boozer 4-10 2-4 10, Noah 5-8 0-0 10, Hinrich 2-7 0-0 5, Butler 4-11 5-9 13, Gibson 5-6 2-3 12, Augustin 4-9 7-7 16, Snell 1-2 0-0 2, Mohammed 1-1 0-0 2, Fredette 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 30-65 16-23 80.

BROOKLYN (96): Johnson 7-11 2-2 19, Pierce 5-12 1-1 14, Plumlee 3-3 0-2 6, Williams 6-11 7-8 20, Livingston 4-7 6-6 14, Blatche 4-11 3-3 11, Kirilenko 3-3 1-4 7, Teletovic 0-5 0-0 0, Thornton 1-7 1-2 3, Anderson 1-2 0-0 2, Collins 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 34-73 21-28 96.

Chicago 18 24 17 21— 80

Brooklyn 27 23 26 20— 96

3-Point GoalsChicago 4-13 (Dunleavy 2-3, Hinrich 1-2, Augustin 1-5, Butler 0-3), Brooklyn 7-25 (Johnson 3-4, Pierce 3-7, Williams 1-4, Blatche 0-1, Thornton 0-4, Teletovic 0-5). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsChicago 53 (Boozer 13), Brooklyn 35 (Pierce 7). AssistsChicago 12 (Augustin, Dunleavy 4), Brooklyn 19 (Williams 6). Total FoulsChicago 23, Brooklyn 18. TechnicalsGibson, Chicago Coach Thibodeau, Pierce. A17,732 (17,732).

Pistons 96, Knicks 85

NEW YORK (85): Anthony 11-21 2-4 28, Stoudemire 9-11 4-4 22, Chandler 3-9 2-2 8, Felton 1-9 1-2 4, J. Smith 5-17 2-2 16, Shumpert 2-7 0-0 5, Prigioni 1-2 0-0 2, Hardaway Jr. 0-6 0-0 0, Tyler 0-1 0-0 0, Murry 0-0 0-0 0, Aldrich 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-83 11-14 85.

DETROIT (96): Jo.Smith 5-17 5-9 15, Monroe 4-10 3-4 11, Drummond 6-9 5-7 17, Jennings 4-10 0-0 9, Singler 3-8 0-0 8, Stuckey 6-16 4-4 16, Bynum 5-10 5-6 16, Jerebko 2-3 0-0 4, Caldwell-Pope 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-83 22-30 96.

New York 28 16 20 21— 85

Detroit 20 19 30 27— 96

3-Point GoalsNew York 10-28 (Anthony 4-7, J. Smith 4-11, Shumpert 1-3, Felton 1-3, Prigioni 0-1, Hardaway Jr. 0-3), Detroit 4-12 (Singler 2-5, Bynum 1-2, Jennings 1-3, Jo.Smith 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsNew York 44 (Chandler 18), Detroit 66 (Drummond 26). AssistsNew York 16 (Felton 5), Detroit 21 (Jennings 11). Total FoulsNew York 27, Detroit 14. A14,742 (22,076).

Bucks 114, Jazz 88

UTAH (88): Jefferson 3-7 0-0 7, Williams 2-6 0-0 5, Favors 1-5 0-0 2, Burke 2-7 1-2 7, Hayward 6-15 6-6 20, Burks 5-12 2-4 12, Kanter 8-16 11-12 27, Garrett 1-5 0-0 2, Evans 2-3 0-0 4, Gobert 1-1 0-2 2, Rush 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 31-79 20-26 88.

MILWAUKEE (114): Middleton 4-6 0-0 9, Ilyasova 13-14 3-4 31, Pachulia 3-4 8-8 14, Knight 4-7 2-3 11, Wolters 4-6 0-0 10, Mayo 1-5 0-0 3, Henson 3-7 0-0 6, Antetokounmpo 3-9 1-1 8, Adrien 3-8 2-4 8, Sessions 4-7 6-6 14, Raduljica 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 42-74 22-26 114.

Utah 21 27 19 21— 88

Milwaukee 30 25 40 19— 114

3-Point GoalsUtah 6-21 (Burke 2-5, Hayward 2-6, Jefferson 1-3, Williams 1-3, Rush 0-1, Burks 0-1, Garrett 0-2), Milwaukee 8-13 (Ilyasova 2-2, Wolters 2-2, Middleton 1-1, Knight 1-2, Mayo 1-3, Antetokounmpo 1-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsUtah 42 (Kanter 14), Milwaukee 48 (Adrien 11). AssistsUtah 18 (Burke 5), Milwaukee 28 (Pachulia, Wolters, Knight 5). Total FoulsUtah 21, Milwaukee 24. A10,022 (18,717).

LeBron scores career-best 61 03/03/14 [Last modified: Monday, March 3, 2014 11:29pm]

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