LeBron’s masterful performance leaves everyone nearly speechless

MIAMI — LeBron James struggled in finding the right words to describe his latest performance.

"I haven’t really kind of grasped what just happened," James said in street clothes and wearing a backpack while standing before his locker surrounded by media members.

"I’m about to go to the airport. I’m by myself, so I might have an opportunity to think about it."

James scored a career-high and team-record 61 points, hitting 8 of 10 from 3-point territory, to lead the Heat to a 124-107 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats at AmericanAirlines Arena on Monday night.

"That’s a video-game game right there," Shane Battier said of James’ output.

The season’s second-highest scoring effort in the NBA — behind New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony’s 62, also against Charlotte — happened a day after the 52nd anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain’s record 100-point performance.

Could King James, with 10 career 50-point games, ever see himself equaling Wilt the Stilt’s exploits?

"I don’t know man, that’s cuttin’ it," he said. "This is my first 60-point game. To think I can go for another 39, that’s a little out of control."

James certainly was in control the entire night with an extremely efficient game. He hit 22 of 33 shots — 61 points on 33 shots.

"It probably would be No. 1 because it’s right here, right now," James said after being asked where the game ranked career-wise. "I’ve had so many individual great games and I always go back to my (48-point 2007) Eastern Conference Finals Game 5 in Detroit … that game always sticks with me."

Still sporting a transparent mask to protect a broken nose, James also had seven rebounds and five assists. His scoring effort surpassed Glen Rice’s previous Heat record of 56 points on April 15, 1995 against Orlando.

Heat vs. Bobcats

Dwyane Wade, who scored 55 against the Knicks in 2009, sat out Monday’s game to rest his knees in the first of back-to-back games. The Heat will play at Houston on Tuesday night.

"When I walked out of the locker room at the third quarter, D-Wade said, ‘You better get 40!’ " James said. "I had 40 when he came to sit back down in the third quarter."

James set franchise records for points in a quarter (25 in the third) and a half (37).

"It felt like I had a golf ball throwing into the ocean," he said.

Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said he had considered removing James to give the star a rest after three quarters with his points total at 49.

"I wouldn’t have scored 50 … and on my home floor," James said when told about Spoelstra’s thoughts. "This is the first time I ever scored 50 on my home court. I’ve done it (nine) times on the road."

Teammate Rashard Lewis had an idea what James was feeling. Lewis scored 50 points for Seattle against the Los Angeles Clippers at Tokyo in November 2003.

Cheerleader Gallery

"It feels amazing. You’re in a zone like no other regardless who’s on you, two people, three people," Lewis said. "When you got that type of rhythm going, you’re going to make the shot. It’s just a matter of getting the shot off. It doesn’t matter who’s on you."

James’ previous career-high was 56 points at Toronto in March 2005. What did the King remember about that game? "We lost," he said.

Heat center Chris Bosh watched James and wondered about his own career-high points total, 44 for Toronto in a loss at Milwaukee in January 2010.

"I gotta shoot 3s. I should have been shooting 3s," Bosh said. "It probably would have been 47."

Or run the point like James.

"Yeah, man, you can control everything " he said. "When you’re big and you can handle the ball like that and see the double team coming, that’s an extra tool you can use."

Considering James’ all-around game, some people probably were surprised Monday night was the first time he cracked 60 points.

"If he really wanted to do it, you don’t think LeBron James could have a plethora of 60-point games?" Battier said. "Of course he could. But he’s a guy who gets people involved and that’s not who he is."

James was asked if he had any sympathy for Charlotte’s Al Jefferson, who had 38 points and 19 rebounds in a losing effort.

"That was amazing. That’s spectacular numbers," James said. "No sympathy at all."

You can follow Charlie McCarthy on Twitter @mccarthy_chas or email him at mac1763@bellsouth.net.