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.