Lakers News: Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray Praise LeBron James For Reaching 40,000 Career Points
LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Lakers, Nuggets
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers had a big task in front of them on Saturday night as they hosted Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and the defending champion Denver Nuggets. Aside from the Lakers attempting to end their losing streak to Denver, the other big story coming into the contest was LeBron James being set to become the first player to reach 40,000 career points.

Early in the second quarter he would do just that, attacking the basket and finishing a layup to reach a milestone that seemed impossible. Just surpassing Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the top spot was something that many thought would never be done, but now LeBron is continuing to stretch that record out even further and opening up a club where only he resides.

What LeBron has done is truly something special and even the opposition recognizes it. After the game, Jokic praised James for reaching that milestone.

“It’s a great, great [accomplishment],” Jokic said. “It’s just amazing how many years he’s playing at an extremely high level. When you see now who can reach him, it’s really hard to see. Maybe [Anthony Edwards], maybe Luka [Doncic] if he plays long enough… It’s amazing to share the floor with a guy like [LeBron].”

Unfortunately for LeBron and the Lakers, he was unable to enjoy the accomplishment too much as Jokic and Murray took over in the second half, ultimately leading Denver to a 10-point win, their eighth straight over L.A.

While Murray recognized how great of an accomplishment that was for LeBron, he was also very happy to ruin the night with a Nuggets victory.

“Obviously the first player to do that,” Murray noted. “I think the biggest thing for me is his durability and consistency with the way he’s been able to keep up that level of performance throughout the years no matter the age. I think that’s the biggest thing, being not injured and stuff like that, knock on wood.

“But it was nice to come in here and shut it down. We just wanted to take the life out of the arena and we did a good job of weathering the storm and throwing all the haymakers.”

Murray scored 17 of his 24 points after halftime as the Nuggets pulled away down the stretch despite the best efforts of the Lakers. What LeBron accomplished on this night may not be seen again for decades, but it was Jokic, Murray and the Nuggets that walked off the court with a smile on their faces.

LeBron James says milestone ‘bittersweet’ due to Lakers loss

LeBron James has always been about winning first and foremost. While he thanked the Lakers fans for the love they showed him after reaching the 40,000 career point mark and called it cool to be the first to do something like this, LeBron admitted it was bittersweet in the end due to the Lakers losing.

“But for me, the main thing is always the main thing, and that’s to win,” James noted. “I just hate that it had to happen in a defeat, especially vs. a team that plays extremely well. And we played some good basketball tonight but wasn’t able to close it out. So, bittersweet. But I enjoyed every moment tonight though out on the floor.”

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