LeBron James now trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whose record once thought unbreakable has stood since he retired in 1989.
LeBron James catches a pass from his team mate Stanley Johnson with 5:20 left in the 2nd quarter and drops in a layup to pass Karl Malone.
LeBron James passed Karl Malone on the NBA’s career scoring list, leaving only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar still to catch.
Then the Los Angeles Lakers wasted another stellar performance by their star.
James came into the night needing 19 points to tie Malone. He ended up scoring double that, but the Washington Wizards rallied from a 16-point deficit to win 127-119 on Saturday night.
James said he couldn’t appreciate the milestone as much in a loss.
“Obviously at some point I’ll be able to look back at this moment, but right now the feeling I have — I can’t separate it,” James said. “We had a great opportunity to pick up some more momentum.”
Malone scored 36,928 points and held the No. 2 spot for 21 years. Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 38,387, which has stood since 1989, is in reach if James stays healthy.
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“I will not allow myself to think about it. I’ve always just played the game the way I’ve been playing it over the years, and these things have just happened organically by just going out and playing the game the right way,” James said. “Hope to accomplish that at some point in my career, but I won’t think about it too much.”