With another quality performance on Sunday afternoon against the Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James tied Karl Malone for the most 20-point games in NBA history with 1,134.
James finished the game with 31 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, two steals and two blocks, although it unfortunately came in a losing effort in a matinee game against Portland.
This is the first of what will be a season full of milestones for James personally as he embarks on his 20th NBA season. The biggest milestone, of course, will be passing former Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. At his current pace, James will break that record around the 50th game of the season.
Passing Malone for most 20-point games is an incredible milestone in his own right now, especially for someone like James who isn’t necessarily known for his scoring. James is an all-around player but has proven he can score with the best of them.
James and the Lakers next take the court on Wednesday night in Denver against the Nuggets, which will be his first opportunity to surpass Malone and stand alone with the most 20-point games in league history.
James speaks on what it will mean to pass Abdul-Jabbar
Before the 2022-23 season started, James talked about what it will mean to pass Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer in NBA history.
“Obviously Kareem has had his differences with some of my views and some of the things that I do, but at the end of the day, to be able to be recognized in the same breath as a guy who wore the same uniform, a guy that was a staple of this franchise along with Magic and Big Game over there for so many years, especially in the ‘80s, and a guy that does a lot off the floor as well — I think it’s just super duper dope for myself to be even in that conversation.
“Anytime my name is mentioned with the greats — obviously Wilt, M.J. or now Kareem or whatever the case might be — it’s just super humbling. As always see me use my hashtag, #TheKidFromAkron, those are the moments where I really think about that kid from Akron walking those streets and, you know, playing basketball where I actually had a basketball on the hoop or just walking around and air dribbling, and shooting through an invisible hoop, counting ‘Five, four, three, two, one’ and making game-winning shots.
“When I get here — I’m not going to put too much pressure on it throughout the season — but I think it’s a pretty historical moment it gets here and as long as my family and friends are all there, that’s the most important thing.”
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