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James scores career-best 61 as Heat win eighth straight

UNDATED (AP) — Until Monday, LeBron James had never scored more than 51 points in a game during his four seasons with the Miami Heat. He topped that - and then some - in leading the Heat to a 124-107 win over Charlotte.

James torched the Bobcats for 61 points, breaking his previous career high of 56 set with Cleveland against Toronto almost nine years ago. He made 22 of his 33 shots, including his first eight 3-point attempts.

James also broke Glen Rice's franchise record of 56 points set in April 1995.

Chris Bosh scored 15 for the Heat, who rolled to their eighth straight win while Dwyane (dwayn) Wade was given the night off.

Miami improved to 43-14, 1 1/2 games behind East-leading Indiana with two games in hand.

In other NBA action:

— Wesley Johnson slammed home an alley-oop dunk with 6.9 seconds left to give the Los Angeles Lakers a 107-106 win over Portland, ending the Trail Blazers' five-game winning streak. Pau Gasol (pow gah-SAHL') led the Lakers with 22 points and Jodie Meeks added 21.

— Tayshaun Prince scored a season-high 21 points and Memphis reeled off a 17-2 run in the third quarter of a 110-104 victory at Washington. Zach Randolph had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who ended the Wizards' six-game winning streak and climbed within one game of the eighth and final Western Conference playoff berth.

— The Nets are at .500 for the first time since Nov. 5 after Deron Williams scored 20 points and Joe Johnson had 19 in a 96-80 rout of the Chicago Bulls in Brooklyn. The Bulls committed 28 turnovers and lost for just the second time in 11 games.

— Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves have completed a 4-1 road trip with a 132-128 win at Detroit. Love scored 33 points and tied a season high with 19 rebounds in his NBA-high 50th double double of the season.

— It's now a seven-game losing streak for the Knicks after Andre Drummond had 17 points and a career-high 26 rebounds in Detroit's 96-85 victory against New York. Backups Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum each scored 16 points as the Pistons ended a four-game slide.

— Milwaukee blew out Utah 114-88 as Ersan Ilyasova (her-SAHN' eel-yah-SOH'-vah) poured in 31 points. The Bucks took control by outscoring the Jazz 40-19 in the third period.

— DeMarcus Cousins contributed 23 points and 12 rebounds to Sacramento's 96-89 verdict over New Orleans. Isaiah Thomas had 22 points in the victory.


Collins to get second 10-day pact

NEW YORK (AP) — A person with knowledge of the situation says the Brooklyn Nets will sign Jason Collins to a second 10-day contract. After that, the Nets would have to sign him for the rest of the season if they wanted to keep him. Collins signed his original deal on Feb. 23, becoming the NBA's first openly gay player, and it expires Tuesday.


Report: Manning passes physical

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Peyton Manning will remain the Denver Broncos' quarterback at least one more year after clearing a medical hurdle.

A person with knowledge of the results tells The Associated Press that Manning has passed the physical on his surgically repaired neck. That was a requirement of the contract that will pay Manning $20 million next season, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because results of medical checkups typically aren't announced.

Manning won his fifth MVP award in 2013, when he set single-season records by passing for 5,547 yards and 55 TDs while guiding the Broncos to their first Super Bowl in 15 seasons.

In other NFL news:

— Washington has placed a franchise tag on three-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, all but ensuring he will remain with the team next season. He'll make about $11.5 million for 2014.

— The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal. Because Graham often split out from the offensive line as a receiver would, there have been questions concerning whether the NFL's collective bargaining agreement calls for Graham to have a receiver's tag, worth $12.1 million. Graham still could file a grievance, leaving an arbitrator to decide which tag is appropriate for a player who caught a team-high 86 passes for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns last season.

— Wide receiver Anquan Boldin has agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract with San Francisco that includes $9 million in guaranteed money. Boldin led the 49ers with 85 catches for 1,179 yards to go with seven touchdowns last season. He was set to become a free agent.

— Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes has signed a four-year contract to remain with the Miami Dolphins. Grimes had four interceptions and played in all 16 games for the Dolphins last year after they signed him to a one-year contract.

— The Tennessee Titans have agreed to a multiyear contract with safety Bernard Pollard that keeps their top tackler off the free-agent market. Pollard started all 16 games last season and led Tennessee with 142 tackles, including 93 solo stops. He also had three interceptions.

— The Browns have locked free agent Pro Bowl center Alex Mack into a one-year, $10.039 million contract by using the transition tag on him. That means Cleveland will have five days to match any offer to Mack by other teams. Mack has been one of the Browns' best and most dependable players since they drafted him in the first round in 2009. He has not missed one offensive play in five years, a run of 4,998 consecutive snaps.

— Buffalo will not use a franchise tag on safety Jarius Byrd again. That will allow the three-time Pro Bowler to become an unrestricted free agent next week. Byrd played under a one-year, $6.9 million franchise tag last year.


Kansas to rest Embiid

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Joel Embiid will sit out the final two regular-season games for No. 8 Kansas so that he can rest a lower back strain that has already caused him to miss a game. It's also possible the freshman center could be out through the Big 12 tournament. Jayhawks coach Bill Self says Embiid re-aggravated the injury and that experts have told the team's training staff that the best remedy is simply rest. An MRI exam taken on his lower back came back negative.

The 7-foot Embiid is averaging 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds despite only playing basketball for a few years.


Gators stay on top

UNDATED (AP) — The new Associated Press basketball poll is out and the top three spots from last week held onto their positions. That means Florida remains No. 1, followed by Wichita State and Arizona. Rounding out the first-five are Duke and Virginia.

This week's second-five consists of Villanova, Syracuse, Kansas, Wisconsin and San Diego State.


Tar Heels win lone T25 game

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina was the only ranked men's basketball team in action on Monday, and the No. 14 Tar Heels eked out a victory against Notre Dame.

James Michael McAdoo hit the go-ahead shot in the lane with 3:09 left and finished with 14 points as the Heels beat Notre Dame 63-61. North Carolina blew a 14-point halftime lead and had to fight for its 12th straight win in its home finale. The outcome hung in the balance until Marcus Paige blocked Eric Atkins' driving shot on the final play.


Jackets nip Leafs

UNDATED (AP) — The Columbus Blue Jackets have continued their playoff push by completing a sweep of their three-game season series with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Dalton Prout and Artem Anisimov (ah-NEE'-see-mahv) scored second-period goals and Sergei Bobrovsky (bah-BRAHF'-skee) stopped 28 shots as the Jackets downed the Leafs 2-1. Bobrovsky blanked Toronto until Mason Raymond scored with 4:15 remaining.

The Blue Jackets are 17-8-1 since Dec. 21 after opening the season 14-7-4. They are within one point of Detroit in the battle for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth.

The Maple Leafs are 0-1-2 since the Olympic break.

Elsewhere on ice:

— Dallas beat Buffalo 3-2 on Alex Chiasson's (CHAY'-sahnz) tiebreaking, power-play goal with 9:35 remaining. Jordie Benn and Alex Goligoski also scored to help the Stars open a two-point lead over Winnipeg and Vancouver as the three teams battle for the final Western Conference playoff berth.

— Third-period goals by Jared Spurgeon and Zach Parise (pah-REE'-say) lifted Minnesota to its fifth consecutive win, 3-2 over Calgary. The Wild improved to 14-4-2 since the new year began while welcoming captain Mikko Koivu (MEE'-koh KOY'-voo) back from injury.


Hossa sidelined

UNDATED (AP) — Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa (HOH'-sah) will be sidelined for two to three weeks because of an upper-body injury suffered in Saturday night's 5-1 victory over Pittsburgh at Soldier Field. It is unclear exactly when Hossa got hurt, but he took a hard hit from Penguins forward Craig Adams during Chicago's second power play of the first period.

In other NHL news:

— The Edmonton Oilers and goaltender Ben Scrivens have agreed to a two-year contract extension. Scrivens is 3-4-0 since being acquired by the Oilers from the Kings on Jan. 15. The 27-year-old Scrivens made an immediate impression on his new team when he had 59 stops in a 3-0 win over San Jose on Jan. 29, setting an NHL regular-season record for saves in a shutout.

— The NHL has suspended Washington defenseman Dmitry Orlov for two games for boarding Philadelphia's Brayden Schenn in Sunday's Flyers win. Orlov was assessed a major penalty for his action, helping the Flyers rally from a 4-2 deficit for a 5-4 overtime win.

— Nashville has announced that goaltender Pekka Rinne (REE'-nay) will start Tuesday against Pittsburgh. He's returning from a hip injury that has limited him to only nine games this season.


Padres Maybin sidelined

UNDATED (AP) — San Diego Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin is going to be out two to three months after rupturing his left biceps tendon. He was injured while diving for a ball in Sunday's exhibition game against the Dodgers.

The 26-year-old Maybin spent some time on the disabled list in 2013 and had surgery to repair his right wrist late in the season. He is entering the third year of a five-year, $25 million contract signed in the spring of 2012.

Also in the majors:

— Baseball's expanded instant replay system has gotten off to a smooth start as the umpires' initial call was upheld in three challenges on Monday. Extra replay was in place for three games. Two calls were checked in the game between Toronto and Minnesota, there was one review in the Angels-Diamondbacks game and none when the Chicago Cubs played Milwaukee.


UConn remains No. 1

UNDATED (AP) — Unbeaten Connecticut is still the top team in the AP women's basketball poll. The Huskies, who are 30-0, got all 36 first-place votes. The second ranked team remains Notre Dame with Louisville third once again. Stanford and South Carolina have switched spots with the Cardinal now ranked fourth and South Carolina fifth.


Davenport elected to tennis Hall

NEW YORK (AP) — Three-time Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport has been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The former world No. 1 won the 1998 U.S. Open title as well as the 1999 Wimbledon championship and 2000 Australian Open crown. She also won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Davenport held the world's No. 1 ranking for 98 weeks in her career.


Davis, White bow out of Worlds

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Olympic gold medalist ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White will not compete at the world championships later this month.

As far as their competitive future beyond worlds, White said in a news release that "we will leave our options open."

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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