"The man above has given me some unbelievable abilities to play this game of basketball," James told Sun Sports in a postgame interview. "I try to take advantage of it each and every night."
James' outburst established a Heat franchise scoring record, which Glen Rice set with 56 points against the Magic on April 15, 1995. The four-time MVP shot 22-for-33 from the field, 8-for-10 from three-point range and 9-for-12 from the free-throw line. He added seven rebounds and five assists in 41 minutes. James tied his career high by hitting the eight three-pointers. A 25-point third quarter highlighted his night.
"It felt like I had a golf ball, throwing it into the ocean," James told reporters, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
James surpassed his career high of 56 points, set when he played for the Cavaliers against the Raptors on March 20, 2005. Monday marked the 10th time in James' 11-year career that he has cracked the 50-point threshold, and it was first time he's done since so Feb. 2, 2011, when he scored 51 points against the Magic.
"Phenomenal. Amazing. Stupendous. Immaculate," Heat center Chris Bosh said, per the Sun Sentinel. "That's all."
Said forward Shane Battier: "This is what the yogis talk about, about reaching that alternate level of consciousness."
Battier later tweeted:
Anytime @kingjames and I combine to score 64 points, it's going to be a good night......proud of my teammate tonight. That was a game!
— Shane Battier (@ShaneBattier) March 4, 2014
The combination of 61 points, seven rebounds and five assists has been accomplished only three other times since the 1985-86 season: Michael Jordan (1990), David Robinson (1994) and Tracy McGrady (2004). The last player to score at least 61 points on 33 or fewer shots was Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (2009).
Miami improved to 43-14 with its eighth consecutive victory. Charlotte fell to 27-33 with its third loss in a row.
Here's James speaking with reporters after the game:Videos via YouTube user NBA Highlights YouTube user Michael Stutler