In an 11-year career that already includes two NBA Championships, four regular-season MVP awards, and 10 All-Star selections, LeBron James had never scored 60 points in a game before Monday. His 61 points in Monday's game against the Charlotte Bobcats marked both a career-high for James and a Miami Heat franchise record for points in a single game.
Still wearing a mask to protect his broken nose, James made 22 of his 33 shot attempts, including eight of 10 three-pointers, and also converted nine of 12 free throws in 41 minutes of play during the Heat's 124-107 victory.
While James had accumulated 24 points by halftime, the two-time reigning MVP exploded for 25 points in the third quarter alone. The scoring frenzy was highlighted by a remarkable pull-up jumper from around 30 feet, a shot that proved James was simply unguardable on the night.
The highest scoring quarter of James' career not only matched Charlotte's entire team output during the third interval, but also eclipsed the most points by a player in any quarter in Heat history.
With 49 points entering the fourth quarter, James added 12 to his tally before exiting to a standing ovation with 1:24 left on the game clock. His 37 second-half points set another team milestone.
Describing his unprecedented scoring assault, James told the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
"It felt like I had a golf ball, throwing it in the ocean."
In fact, James became the first player since 2000 to score 60 points and make at least two-thirds of his shots from the field. His previous career-high came back in 2005, when James went for 56 points on 18-of-36 shooting while playing for Cleveland.
Following Monday's game, the Bobcats have now surrendered the NBA's past three 55-point outings, with the previous pair going to Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony.
So, while some have been quick to crown Kevin Durant this season's MVP, Monday's performance certainly made a strong case for King James to retain the throne.