LeBron tames Bobcats in second half as Heat roll

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - LeBron James delivered a devastating second-half performance as the red-hot Miami Heat beat the Charlotte Bobcats 96-82 on Monday.

James scored 26 of his game-high 38 points in the second half to help the Heat (27-9) record their sixth consecutive win and their 18th in 19 games.

Dwyane Wade tallied 31 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat, who broke the game open in the third quarter by outscoring Charlotte 31-16.

James was at his most dominant in the third, scoring 13 straight points during one stretch to bury the Bobcats. He also added nine rebounds and five assists on the night.

"The way we're winning - we're defending and everyone is involved in our offense," James told reporters. "That's good basketball."

Stephen Jackson scored a team-high 22 points for the ailing Bobcats (11-21).

Charlotte was without second leading scorer Gerald Wallace, sidelined with ankle injury, along with big men Nazr Mohammed (knee) and DeSagana Diop, who was ruled out for the season on Monday with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Still, the Bobcats held a seven-point lead in the second quarter before Miami took control.

Charlotte interim coach Paul Silas dropped to 2-2 since taking over from Larry Brown, who was fired on December 22 after a 9-19 start to the season.

Miami earned their 11th successive road win for the first time since 1998.

The performance of James and Wade marked the first time this season the two players scored at least 30 points in the same game.

"I think they're also getting a better idea of how to play off each other," said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. "I think they're enjoying this new frontier, this new development in each of their games but it's also making each other better and making it easier for one another."

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)