LeBron scores Heat-record 61 in rout of Bobcats
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Heat needed LeBron James to step up offensively with Dwyane Wade resting on Monday night.
All James did was break the franchise record for points in a game.
James drained eight 3-pointers en route to a career-high 61 points, as the Heat bested the Charlotte Bobcats for the 16th straight time with a 124-107 decision at American Airlines Arena.
James shot a scorching 22-of-33 from the floor and added seven rebounds and five assists while snapping Glen Rice's franchise-record of 56 points set in April of 1995.
Chris Bosh chipped in with 15 points and seven boards, as the Heat shot a red- hot 55.4 percent from the floor, including 16-of-28 from long distance, in claiming their eighth straight victory.
James' record-setting night spoiled a stellar effort from Al Jefferson, who scored 38 points and grabbed 19 rebounds for the Bobcats, who haven't beaten the Heat since an 83-78 win in Charlotte on March 9, 2010.
The Heat held a 60-54 halftime lead before James took over in the third, draining all five of his 3-point tries while scoring 25 points in the frame, the same amount as Charlotte's entire team.
James netted Miami's first eight points to open the quarter before adding back-to-back three-point plays late in the period, with the second giving Miami an 89-69 lead with 2:40 to play in the frame.
James drilled a deep left wing 3 -- his eighth of the night -- to make it 95-73 with 1:16 left in the third and opened the fourth with four straight points to push his total to 53.
With Charlotte still within striking distance, James remained in the game and added a pair of layups before making a nice spinning bank shot from the left block to make it 115-99 with 2:23 to play.
After Jefferson hit a jumper at the other end, James drew a foul and swished two free throws to cap his historic night, as chants of "M-V-P" rained down from the Miami faithful.
Jefferson carried the Bobcats in the first half, going 12-of-15 from the floor for 26 points to help the visitors head into the break trailing by just six.
James set a number of other franchise records, including field goals in a game (22), most points in a quarter (25 in the third) and most points in a second half (37). It was his 10th career 50-point game ... Miami took all four meetings with Charlotte to sweep the season series for the fourth straight season ... The Bobcats fell to 12-19 on the road ... Charlotte shot 51.2 percent (42-of-82) from the floor.
03/03 22:35:57 ET