Heat Check: LeBron marvelous in career night in leading Heat to victory
MAR 03, 2014 10:08p ET
MIAMI -- LeBron James made sure a ho-hum early March home game against Charlotte became something to remember.
James scored a team-record and career-high 61 points, hitting 8 of 10 from 3-point territory, to lead the Heat to a 124-107 victory against the Bobcats at AmericanAirlines Arena on Monday night. It was Miami's sixth straight double-figure victory.
Still sporting a transparent mask to protect a broken nose, James hit 22 of 33 shots and also had seven rebounds and five assists. His scoring effort surpassed Glen Rice's previous team record of 56 points on April 15, 1995.
The crowd stood and roared as James hit a free throw with 1:52 remaining for his 60th point. He hit the second one, then left the game with 1:24 on the clock.
James' performance fell one point short of the highest scoring effort in the NBA this season. New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony had 62, also against the Bobcats, on Jan. 24.
Chris Bosh added 15 points for the Heat, who won their eighth straight overall and 11th in 12 games.
Dwyane Wade sat out for the 16th time, the first since the All-Star break. It made sense for the guard to sit out one game in the back-to-back; he'll probably give it a go Tuesday night at Houston.
Wade had been hot in his previous four games, averaging 23.5 points and shooting 62 percent.
Miami improved to 10-6 without Wade.
Al Jefferson had a monster game for the Bobcats (27-33). Few people, thanks to James, will remember his 38 points and 19 rebounds.
Immediately after his team fell behind by nine points with 7:47 left in the first quarter, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called timeout. Miami responded by holding a 29-16 lead at period's end and 60-54 at halftime.
THE TURNING POINT
The Heat began the third quarter with a 15-5 run to build a 75-59 cushion with 7:23 remaining the the third. James made sure the Heat coasted from there. He scored 25 points in the third quarter.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
Let's see ... any suggestions?
STAT OF THE GAME
James going 8 of 10 from 3-point territory.
The Heat will play the Rockets at Houston 8 p.m. Tuesday.