LeBron James becomes first NBA player to score 40,000 career points

LeBron James becomes first NBA player to score 40,000 career points

LeBron James became the first NBA player to reach 40,000 career regular-season points on Saturday, the 39-year-old superstar scoring nine against defending champion Denver to achieve the milestone. James, who just over a year ago overtook Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the NBA’s all-time scoring mark, is a four-time NBA champion and four-time NBA Most Valuable Player as well as the league’s oldest active player, now in his 21st campaign.

It’s a huge, huge testimony to all the work he has put in all over these years, how well he has taken care of himself, the way he has played at a high level,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said of James ahead of the game.

“It’s a hell of an accomplishment.”

After scoring five points in the first quarter, James sank a layup 14 seconds into the second quarter to pull within two of the milestone, then missed a free throw and on the next Laker possession missed a 3-point shot.

James scored the historic basket with 10:39 remaining in the second quarter, banking in a driving layup from the left side of the basket.

The crowd gave James a standing ovation after he made the basket. The ball James used to score the milestone hoop was removed from the game.

James scored his first basket of the game on a fast break layup 6:20 into the opening quarter to give the Lakers an 18-12 lead, then added a 3-pointer from the left corner 63 seconds later for a 23-14 advantage.

In anticipation of reaching the milestone, James said it won’t rank among his greatest feats but the 40,000-point mark is meaningful.

“No one has done it. And for me to be in this position at this point and time in my career, I think it’s pretty cool,” James said.

“Is it one of the top things I’ve done in my career? No. Does it mean something? Of course. Why wouldn’t it?

To hit feats and have milestones throughout my career, they all mean something to me. Absolutely.

“Obviously, there’s a pecking order of which ones are higher than others, but I would be lying to you if I said no, it doesn’t mean anything. It absolutely does.”

The Lakers, 33-28, rank 10th in the Western Conference, the final play-in spot, while the Nuggets are 41-19, third in the West but only a game behind pace-setting Minnesota.

In other games, Mikal Bridges scored 38 points to lead host Brooklyn over Atlanta 114-102 while Jimmy Butler netted 37 points to power the Miami Heat over visiting Utah 126-120.

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