An hour after what he called the best regular-season game he's ever played, LeBron James simply explained why this performance was like none other. James rewrote his record book Monday night, etched his name a few different times in Miami Heat annals as well, and let the NBA know in crystal-clear terms that his MVP award won't be ceded without a fight this season. He scored 61 points, setting career- and franchise-bests, as the Heat topped the Charlotte Bobcats 124-107. He made 22 of his 33 field-goal tries, becoming just the third player in the past 25 years to take that many shots and make at least two-thirds of them, with only Alex English and Shaquille O'Neal on that list.
Marian Hossa will be sidelined for two to three weeks because of an upper-body injury, leaving the Chicago Blackhawks without one of their top scorers. Hossa was injured Saturday night during Chicago's 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins outside 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. The announcement on Monday is a big blow for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who lead the NHL with 213 goals this season.
The Baltimore Orioles have been busy signing free agents since training camp opened last month. Johan Santana could be next. Santana was at Baltimore's training complex on Monday, and he posed for a photo with young pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, who sent it out on Instagram. Chris Davis, who hit a long home run to center field in the Orioles' 9-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins, likes the idea of signing Santana.
Peyton Manning is more productive than he's ever been, and whether he's deciphering defenses at the line of scrimmage on game day or on his iPad during the week, his love for the game hasn't waned. As expected, Manning passed the exam on his surgically repaired neck that was required by his contract with the Broncos that will pay him $20 million next season, according to a person with knowledge of the results. At the Super Bowl last month, he talked about how his older brother, Cooper, had to give up football after neck surgeries in high school and college, and how that had a big impact on his life.
The first day of spring practice was a bit surreal for Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson. It had everything to do with that fact he was putting on his gold Notre Dame helmet and red practice jersey for the first time since being suspended from school last May for academic impropriety. ''I'm moving forward now and still continuing that process of trying to grind and be better.'' The Irish are expecting the 6-foot, 200-pound quarterback to be better than he was in 2012, when he helped Notre Dame get to the national championship game by finishing the regular season undefeated for the first time since winning its last national title in 1988. Golson was 187 of 318 passing, a 58.8 completion rate, with 12 touchdown passes and six interceptions as the Irish went 12-1, losing 42-14 to Alabama in the championship game.
North Carolina just keeps winning, even if the past two performances haven't been what coach Roy Williams wanted to see. For the 14th-ranked Tar Heels, the question is whether two straight close wins against teams from the bottom third of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings is a concern or just a blip headed into Saturday's finale against their fiercest rival. James Michael McAdoo hit the go-ahead shot in the lane with 3:09 left and Marcus Paige blocked Eric Atkins' driving shot on the final play to seal UNC's 63-61 victory over Notre Dame on Monday night, earning the Tar Heels their 12th straight victory in their last home game. While the Tar Heels (23-7, 13-4 ACC) have their longest winning streak since 2008-09, it marked the second time in three days they found themselves in a fight with an underdog opponent.