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Sports

Around the NBA: LeBron James Scores 61 & Jason Collins Makes Brooklyn Debut

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Around the NBA: LeBron James Scores 61 & Jason Collins Makes Brooklyn Debut

2014-03-04 11:11:07

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: LeBron James drives against Charlotte. (Image Source: Robert Mayer/USA TODAY)

We take you around the NBA:

LeBron Sets Career High:

In the Miami Heat’s 124-107 win over the Charlotte Bobcats, LeBron James scored a career-high 61 points, including an absolutely scintillating 25-point third quarter. The King made 22 of 33 field goal attempts, shot 80 percent (8 of 10) from downtown and added nine free throws in 41 minutes. Efficient and breathtaking at the same time.

“First of all, I was able to do it in a win,” James said. “I probably had three or four just Heat check shots out of rhythm, just taking them. Third thing, to do it with a group of guys I would do anything for. It means so much. These guys are really true brothers of mine.”

“After three quarters, I wanted to hit 50 on the home floor. This is the first time I’ve scored 50 on the home floor. I’ve done it so many times on the road and to be able to do it on front of these fans. [Coach Erik Spoelstra] said he was going to give me a couple of minutes in the fourth. He gave me more than a few minutes.”

Not only did James get minutes in the final stanza, he was very aggressive in the second half with his offense, scoring 37 points after intermission, which also set a franchise record, as did his 25-point quarter.

“At a certain point in the fourth quarter, that’s what we were all doing,” Spoelstra said of LeBron’s one-man show. “It was really uncharacteristic for LJ to play that aggressive, looking at the rim and I think obviously that speaks to the type of player he is.”

His previous career high was 56 points when he was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 20, 2005 against the Toronto Raptors. With 56 points against the Orlando Magic on April 15, 1995, Glenn Rice set the previous franchise record.

Miami is now 46-13 and two games behind the Indiana Pacers for the top spot in the East.

Jason Collins Makes Home Debut & Is Expected to Get Another 10-Day Contract:

In Brooklyn, with the Nets comfortably ahead of the Chicago Bulls, Coach Jason Kidd sent Jason Collins into the game in the fourth quarter with 2:41 on the clock to make his home debut. It’s not often an end-of-the-bench player on a 10-day contract gets a standing ovation from a sellout crowd but that’s exactly what happened at the Barclays Center.

'It was cool. It was a lot of fun to go into the game,'' Collins said. ''The most important thing was that we got the win. Chicago's been playing really well as of late and for us to come out and really be—I think we played more physical than they did tonight.''

The Nets won 96-80 to improve to 29-29. It’s the first time Brooklyn has reached the .500-mark since November. They are currently sixth in the East, three games ahead of Charlotte and the Atlanta Hawks. As long as the Nets remaining sixth or higher they will avoid the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

According to reports the Nets are expected to sign Collins to a second 10-day contract on Wednesday after his current deal expires.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. 

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