LeBron James made NBA history on Tuesday, surpassing the 39,000-point mark and becoming the first player to achieve this milestone as the Los Angeles Lakers dominated the Utah Jazz, securing a spot in the knockout stage of the league’s newly introduced in-season tournament.
Entering the game needing only five points to reach the record, the 38-year-old etched his name into the annals of basketball history with a three-pointer in the first quarter of the Lakers’ commanding 131-99 victory. Having surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar last season to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, James acknowledged the crowd’s cheers as his latest achievement was announced.
Reflecting on the significance of his scoring milestone, James shared, “I haven’t really had an opportunity to wrap my head around what it means. There’s been so many great players in this league since the beginning of time, and so many great scorers. To be able to be the first of anything is always pretty cool. A wild moment, for sure.”
James’ record-setting performance set the stage for a jubilant atmosphere at the Crypto.com Arena as the Lakers secured a wire-to-wire win, advancing to the quarter-finals of the in-season tournament. James concluded the game with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while Anthony Davis led the Lakers’ scorers with 26 points, 16 rebounds, and four assists.
In another notable achievement, Kevin Durant reached a scoring milestone of his own, climbing to 11th place on the NBA’s career scoring list during Phoenix’s dominant 120-107 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Needing 14 points to surpass Elvin Hayes, Durant accomplished the feat in a high-scoring first quarter, ultimately finishing the game with 31 points and elevating his career total to 27,331 points.