NBA: LeBron hits career-high 61 as Heat beat Bobcats

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) drives to the basket past Charlotte Bobcats centre Al Jefferson (25) in the second half at American Airlines Arena on Mar 3, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 
Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) drives to the basket past Charlotte Bobcats centre Al Jefferson (25) in the second half at American Airlines Arena on Mar 3, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

MIAMI (AFP) - LeBron James scored a career-high 61 points to break the Miami Heat single-game scoring record on Monday, sparking the defending NBA champions over the Charlotte Bobcats 124-107.

The Heat's season win streak stretched to eight games in a row with a 16th consecutive victory in meetings with Charlotte, whose win drought against Miami now spans four years.

James sank eight 3-pointers, hitting 22-of-33 shots from the field overall, and also grabbed seven rebounds and passed off five assists.

The former Heat single-game scoring record was 56 points by Glen Rice in April 1995.

On a night when Miami star guard Dwyane Wade was rested, Chris Bosh contributed 15 points and seven rebounds.

Miami shot 55.4 per cent from the floor, including 16-of-28 from 3-point range.

Charlotte's Al Jefferson scored 38 points and grabbed 19 rebounds.

The Heat improved to 43-14, trailing only Eastern Conference rival Indiana (46-13) for the best record in the NBA and a home-court edge throughout the playoffs.

Charlotte fell to 27-33 as the Bobcats and the Atlanta Hawks fight for the final two playoff positions in the East.

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