Basketball - Masked man James scores 61 against Bobcats

Miami's LeBron James, wearing a protective mask to shield his broken nose, plundered a career-high 61 points in the Heat's 124-107 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Basketball - Masked man James scores 61 against Bobcats

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Miami Heat small forward LeBron James is congratulated by Ray Allen (34) and Norris Cole against the Charlotte Bobcats (Reuters)

Heat 124, Bobcats 107

James, who sustained the injury late last month, drained 22 of his 33 shots. The four-time MVP scored 24 points at half-time and poured in another 25 in the third quarter alone, while making his first eight three-pointers.

The outburst surpassed is previous career high of 56 points set back in 2005 when he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It also fell one point short of Carmelo Anthony's NBA season-high of 62.

The Miami crowd at American Airlines Arena showered James with cheers as he strengthened his case for another MVP in a two-man race between himself and Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant.

Pistons 96, Knicks 85

Second-year center Andre Drummond scored 17 points and grabbed a career-high 26 rebounds and the Detroit Pistons snapped a four-game losing streak with victory over the Knicks.

Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum each contributed 16 points for the Pistons (24-36).

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks (21-40), who have lost seven straight and 13 of their last 15, with 28 points.

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Nets 96, Bulls 80

The Brooklyn Nets managed to slow down one the NBA's hottest teams by defeating the Chicago Bulls 96-80.

The loss ended a four-game winning streak by the Bulls (33-27), who entered the contest with victories in nine of their last 10 games.

Deron Williams led the Nets (29-29) with 20 points while guard Joe Johnson was not far behind with 19 to pace Brooklyn's offense.

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Grizzlies 110, Wizards 104

Tayshaun Prince scored a season-high 21 points and guard Mike Conley had 20 as the Memphis Grizzlies ended the Washington Wizards' six-game winning streak with a victory.

Forward Zach Randolph had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies (34-25), who improved to nine games over .500 for the first time this season.

Wall scored 13 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter for the Wizards (31-29).

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Bucks 114, Jazz 88

Ersan Ilyasova shot 13-of-14 from the field, knocked down a pair of three-pointers and finished with 31 points as the Milwaukee Bucks snapped a two-game losing streak.

Ilyasova got off to a good start, making all seven of his shots and scoring 18 points in the first half as Milwaukee (12-47).

Enes Kanter had 27 points and 14 rebounds off the bench to lead Utah (21-39), who was coming off a close loss at Indiana on Sunday.

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Lakers 107, Trail Blazers 106

Wesley Johnson scored on a lob pass with 6.4 seconds left to lift the Los Angeles Lakers past the Portland Trail Blazers.

Portland guard Damian Lillard's three-point shot was short at the buzzer, giving the Lakers (21-39) their second consecutive victory.

Pau Gasol scored 22 points for Los Angeles.

Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points, Lillard contributed 20, but Portland (41-19) saw their five-game win streak end.

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Timberwolves 132, Nuggets 128

Forward Kevin Love had 33 points and 19 rebounds, guard Kevin Martin added 22 points and the surging Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Denver Nuggets.

Minnesota outscored Denver 52-16 from the foul line while winning for the sixth time in seven games.

The Timberwolves (30-29) are 10th in the Western Conference, five games behind the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks, who occupy the last two playoff spots.

Denver (25-34) guard Ty Lawson had 31 points and 11 assists in his return to the lineup from a fractured rib last month.

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Kings 96, Pelicans 89

Isaiah Thomas scored 11 of his 22 points in the third quarter, sparking a decisive run along the way, and the Sacramento Kings snapped a three-game skid.

Thomas scored seven points during a 22-7 spurt that opened up a 68-59 lead going into the final period.

Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins added a team-high 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings (21-39).

The Pelicans (23-37) fell to 0-4 on a five-game trip.

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