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LeBron James passes Kobe Bryant for third on NBA career scoring list

Sunday 26 January 2020 11:37, UK

 LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots the ball to pass Kobe Bryant for third on NBA's all-time scoring list during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers on January 25, 2020 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1:39
NBA superstar LeBron James passes Kobe Bryant to move in third in the all-time scoring list with this driving layup against the Sixers

LeBron James moved past Kobe Bryant for third place on the NBA's career scoring list, getting the milestone on a driving layup against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

NBA all-time scoring leaders

  • 1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 38,387
  • 2. Karl Malone - 36,928
  • 3. LeBron James (active) - 33,655
  • 4. Kobe Bryant - 33,643
  • 5. Michael Jordan - 32,292
  • 6. Dirk Nowitzki - 31,560
  • 7. Wilt Chamberlain - 31,419
  • 8. Shaquille O'Neal - 28,596
  • 9. Moses Malone - 27,409
  • 10. Elvin Hayes - 27,313
  • The Los Angeles Lakers star scored the basket with 7:23 left in the third quarter and he waved to a Sixers crowd that gave him a rousing standing ovation when the mark was announced by the public address announcer. The basket gave him 33,644 points.

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    "Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644," Bryant tweeted.

    James entered 18 points shy of passing Bryant on the list and couldn't quite get there in the first half. He scored six points in the first quarter but had four turnovers that included an errant pass into the seats. He opened the second quarter with a layup, and then went to the free throw line for his next four points, giving him 12.

    He finished the first half 3 for 7 from the floor, missed all three threes, had five turnovers and three fouls for 14 points.

    The 35-year-old James entered averaging at least 25 points (25.2 ppg) for the 16th straight season and has played 44 games this season. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA's career scoring leader with 38,387 points and Karl Malone is second at 36,928. James is on pace to pass Abdul-Jabbar in about three seasons.

    The big screen at the Wells Fargo Center acknowledges the milestone
    Image: The big screen at the Wells Fargo Center acknowledges the milestone

    James passed Bryant in Philadelphia, where the five-time champion was born. Bryant, who played his entire career with the Lakers, finished with 33,643 points. With a nod to Bryant's nickname, James scribbled "Mamba 4 Life" on his Nikes against the 76ers.

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    LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in front of Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the fourth quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on January 25, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Lakers 108-91. 4:47
    LeBron James says it is a surreal feeling after passing Kobe Bryant on the all-time NBA scoring list as he paid tribute to Bryant, a player he admired growing up

    James, who played in eight consecutive NBA Finals, has previously paid tribute to Kobe's greatness.

    "He had zero flaws offensively," James said of Bryant. "Zero. He could shoot the three. He could go around you. He could shoot the midrange. He could post. He could make free throws.

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    "That's something I admired as well. Just being at a point where the defense would always be at bay, where they couldn't guard you, where you just felt you were immortal offensively because of your skill set and work ethic.

    "I'm just happy to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant, one of the all-time great basketball players."

    LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers on January 25, 2020 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 4:09
    NBA Gametime team Ro Parrish, Earl Watson, and Wes Wilcox react to LeBron James passing Kobe Bryant for third place on the all-time scoring list

    The record only accounts for regular season scoring so James also has 6,911 postseason points with Cleveland and Miami that do not count in the official total. The top four scorers in NBA history played for the Lakers, who signed James as a free agent in 2018.

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    "Just as a fan, you step back and just watch his body of work, no matter where he goes it's off the chart unique. He does it with class," 76ers coach Brett Brown said before the game.

    Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots the ball against Jared Dudley #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on January 25, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 2:08
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    "Amongst all his success and the attention he receives on a daily basis, he doesn't seem to blink. He's got character, he lives right, he acts right, he's arguably the greatest player to ever play our sport."

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