The Miami Heat and LeBron James have had some eventful days lately. Yet on March 3, James and the Heat made some real history to go along with it. After breaking his nose, missing a game and wearing black and white masks since the All-Star break, James topped himself in more ways than one with a 61-point showcase in a 124-107 triumph over the Charlotte Bobcats.
While his face was still blemished by another white mask, James' game was flawless -- even moreso than usual. He hit his first eight three-pointers, scored 25 points in the third quarter alone, went 22-for-33 from the floor and set both a Miami franchise record and a personal record for points in one night.
For all of James' accomplishments, he had never gone for over 60 points in a game. In fact, he had gone over 50 points just once before during his time in Miami. He picked the right time to get started, as his work kept the Heat on the doorstep of the Indiana Pacers for the East's top seed -- and put him dead even at the least with Kevin Durant in the MVP race.
Durant seemed to be running away with the award at the tail end of the season's first half. Yet ever since James out shined Durant in Oklahoma City on Feb. 20 -- right before he broke his nose -- he has truly jump started his campaign for a third straight MVP and fifth overall. Worse yet for the rest of the NBA, the Heat are jump starting themselves in their campaign for a third straight championship.
It was slightly easy for James to do this against a Charlotte team just fighting to reach the playoffs. If he and Miami do anything like this against the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs later this week, then Durant will have officially fallen behind the pace -- to say nothing of the league in general.
While this was James' greatest statistical game of his career, it certainly wasn't the game of his career, since it took place in March and not June. Nevertheless, the accompanying slideshow lists the highest scoring performances for James to date, showing the high bar he has set for himself -- and yet continues to jump over.