LeBron James hit his first nine attempts from three-point territory and scored 25 in the third quarter on his way to a franchise-record 61 points in the Miami Heat's 124-107 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday. It bested James' previous career-high of 56 points, set in 2005.
At this point it's just unfair.
And the record-setting bucket:
Only two other players (Chris Bosh and Toney Douglas) scored in double figures for the Heat, who were without Dwyane Wade in the game. But they didn't need much more than what James was able to give. LeBron was 22-of-33 from the floor, 8-of-10 from three and 9-of-12 from the stripe, and he chipped in seven boards and five assists on top of it all. As a team, Miami shot 55 percent from the floor, including 57 percent from three, as it beat Charlotte for the 16th straight time.
One team shot 64 free throws, the other took 33 three-point attempts, and the two of them combined to score 260 points in regulation, including 79 points in the fourth quarter alone. Minnesota went into Denver and survived a crazy game to sneak out of town with the 132-128 victory.
The Timberwolves had a 19-point lead with five minutes remaining, a 12-point cushion with two minutes left and a nine-point lead with 26 seconds remaining, but the Nuggets went bonkers, scoring 32 points in the final five minutes of the game and 12 in the last 26 seconds. Minnesota made just enough free throws along the way to hang on for dear life.
Kevin Love went for 33 points and 19 boards in the win, and Ty Lawson put in 31 and 11 dimes for the Nuggets.
The Grizzlies went into Washington, D.C., and beat the Wizards, 110-104, on Monday night to keep pace with the idle eighth-seed Dallas Mavericks, securing yet another all-important win for a team on the outside of the current Western Conference playoff bubble.
Tayshaun Prince went for a season-high 21 points, Mike Conley put up 20, Marc Gasol flirted with a triple-double and Memphis was very efficient from the floor as a team, shooting 54 percent on 26 assists and hitting six of their 13 three-point attempts. And the Wizards were good, too. John Wall put up 23 points and nine assists, Bradley Beal went for 21 and Washington managed to shoot 48 percent from the floor, but it wasn't quite enough.
Another night, another loss for New York. Andre Drummond and the Pistons beat up on the Knicks, 96-85, handing them their seventh straight loss. That makes it a seven-game losing streak for New York, which has now lost 13 of its last 15 games.
Detroit did just enough offensively to get the job done, but its defense managed to keep the Knicks at 38 percent shooting and force them into 16 turnovers. Oh and Drummond was a freaking monster.
The second-year big man posted 17 points, a career-high 26 boards, two steals and three blocks in 46 minutes, and the Pistons killed New York on the boards, 54-40.
Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire combined for 50 points in the loss.
The Bucks are now just two games worse than the Philadelphia 76ers, who appear to have perfected the art of tanking and are now a major threat. Utah got a career-high 27 points and 14 boards from Enes Kanter and 20 from Gordon Hayward, but no one else did much to contribute for the Jazz in this one.
At least Giannis Antetokounmpo has been a joy to watch.
Kevin Garnett was forced to sit with back spasms on Monday, but the Nets didn't have much trouble in a 96-80 win over the typically stingy Bulls. Deron Williams had 20 points and six assists and Joe Johnson put in 19 on just 11 shots as Brooklyn won its third in a row. The Nets are now .500 for the first time since they were 2-2 back on Nov. 5.
But the story of the night turned out to be Chicago's turnover issues. The Bulls gave it away 28 total times as a team, resulting in 30 points for Brooklyn. It's pretty tough to win a game when you're giving it away like that.
Lakers 107, Trail Blazers 106
This is not a good time to be losing games at home against one of the worst teams in the conference. The Trail Blazers are fighting for playoff positioning as we enter the final stretch of the season, and their 107-106 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers is not going to help matters.
The Lakers converted a late backdoor lob to Wesley Johnson with six seconds left, and Damian Lillard couldn't connect in the final seconds on the other end as Los Angeles somehow got out of Portland with a win.
Pau Gasol went for 22 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks, and Jodie Meeks pitched in 21 of his own. He also did this to Nic Batum.
DeMarcus Cousins dropped 23 points and grabbed 12 boards, and Isaiah Thomas went for 22 as the Kings took care of business at home in a 96-89 win over the Pelicans despite a 27-point, 10-rebound, eight-assist performance from Tyreke Evans.
Anthony Davis managed only 13 points and four boards in 38 minutes, and Sacramento found a way to win despite hitting just one three-pointer and turning the ball over 18 times. The Kings dominated the boards, too, outrebounding the Pelicans 47-31.