The masked man has struck again and his message is as clear as the apparatus he wears on his face: He is the reigning MVP and he will not relinquish that title without a fight.
The fans in attendance were treated to a shooting clinic as James connected on 22 of the 33 shots he attempted, including 8 of 10 from beyond the arc. "It felt like I was throwing golf balls in the ocean," James said after the game.
With Dwayne Wade sitting out the contest it was to be expected that Lebron would pick up the slack but it seemed that he even surprised himself with the type of performance he delivered. James went into halftime with a total of 24 points and topped that with 25 more in the third quarter alone, giving him a total of 49 points going into the fourth.
With a 19 point lead going into the final period James found himself still on the floor with five minutes remaining. "I think what helped was we couldn't get no stops in the fourth quarter. That allowed me to stay in the game. ... I wanted to try to close it out and I was happy I was able to make a few plays to help us win the game."
The guy that the Heat had trouble stopping most of the night was center Al Jefferson, who's 38 points and 19 rebounds became an afterthought thanks to the heroics of the league MVP. The Bobcats just couldn't find a complement for Jefferson. He dominated on the low block but his teammates provided no spark on the offensive end.
Miami (43-14) is now in the midst of an eight-game winning streak and closing the gap on the division leading Indiana Pacers who are clinging to a two-game advantage on the defending champs.
The Bobcats lost all three games of their latest road trip by double digits while allowing over 100 points in each contest, something they have not done all season. They will now head home to face the aforementioned Pacers on Wednesday, who will be their fourth straight opponent with 40 or more wins this season.