With the Los Angeles Lakers’ victory over the Houston Rockets in Game 3 of their second round playoff series, LeBron James officially became the winningest player in NBA playoff history. James now has 162 career wins in the playoffs, which moved him past beloved Laker Derek Fisher for most all-time.
LeBron had arguably his best playoff game as a Laker to ascend atop the list. He finished with 36 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four blocks in the Lakers’ 112-102 victory in Game 3, leading the team on both ends of the floor.
The first half was all about offense as James scored 29 of his 36 points, but the second half is where he turned up the defensive intensity with a number of forceful blocks.
What has always stood out about James is the longevity of his greatness. Very few players have ever been able to maintain this level of greatness at this stage of their careers, but LeBron is unlike most players.
No player has ever made eight straight trips to the NBA Finals except for James and if he can continue playing at this level he could very well make the 10th appearance of his career. Though as much as James has his name attached to the wins, he credited all involved throughout his career.
“I haven’t had an opportunity to kind of let it sink in or even think about it. I’m already kind of preparing for Game 4,” he said. “But when I hear it, just to know the history of the game, from growing up as a kid watching the NBA Playoffs, seeing so many dominant players and dominant franchises, seeing who was victorious out there during a lot of series, to know I sit at the top for most wins of any individual, it’s very humbling.
“And it’s something I never dreamed of. I never came into the league saying, ‘I want to be No. 1 in playoff wins.’ I’ve always said I want to be a part of a winning culture, be a winning player and do whatever it takes to help my teammates win.
“This is the result of it. But it doesn’t happen without my teammates over the years, my coaching staffs over the years, everyone from the top to bottom; GMs, owners, training staffs, ball boys, everyone has a hand in that because we’re part of the process of success.
“If I was in Cleveland or Miami and now with the Lakers, I’ve been a part of three organizations that have allowed me to be part of something that’s historic.”
The Lakers are well represented on the all-time list of playoff wins, which is to be expected with their level of success. Aside from Fisher being second, Robert Horry sits fourth with 155 and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is fifth with 154.
A little further down stands Kobe Bryant who is tied for eighth with 135, and Shaquille O’Neal at 10th with 129.
James also moved up another playoff list in Game 3 as he surpassed the great Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving on the blocks list. On his third block of the night James moved into 12th on the all-time list ahead of Erving, once again proving his almost unrivaled versatility.
LeBron James passes Ray Allen
James has been making history throughout these playoffs and it seems as if every game he steps on the floor he is moving up another list. He just climbed up a list very few would have him near the top of as James moved into second place on the all-time playoff 3-pointers made list, passing who many consider the greatest shooter ever in former teammate Ray Allen.
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