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LeBron James surpasses 40,000 career points with LA Lakers


LOS ANGELES – LeBron James reached 40,000 points on Saturday night and is still going strong in his 21st NBA season as he tries to put his career high within reach.

James passed Michael Porter Jr. and hit a layup with 10:39 left in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ historic game against the Denver Nuggets.

James received a standing ovation at the next timeout, while coach Darwin Ham congratulated his chest. There was a video presentation in the arena, before and after, with James lifting the ball above his head.

James airballed his first attempt of the night, but responded by crossing for a layup for his first points and prompting the Nuggets to use their first timeout. He then hit a 3-pointer from the corner before leaving the game with 3:19 left in the first quarter.

James took control again to start the second quarter and set up the turning point by attacking the basket 14 seconds into the period.

James became the league’s leading scorer on February 7, 2023, against the Oklahoma City Thunder, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s mark of 38,387 points. He reached 39,000 points in an Intraseason Tournament game against the Utah Jazz on November 21.

Ham was a young fan as Abdul-Jabbar was wrapping up his career and assumed that record would never be challenged, let alone surpassed by James.

“But here we are,” Ham said before the game. “This is a testament to the time and resources Bron puts into himself to ensure he is not only healthy, but highly healthy.”

39-year-old James also became the player who played the second most regular season and most play-off minutes in league history. He is the only player in the NBA with at least 10,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 10,000 assists.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone spent five seasons with James as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2005-10 and still marvels at how he can play at such a high level.

“I don’t get hung up on the number per se, but you have to marvel at the greatness that goes on,” Malone said.

“At this stage of his career he’s just doing what he’s doing and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all, which is even scarier. Really, when you take a step back, you have to marvel at the longevity. But he doesn’t play on that. “He plays effectively,” he said.


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