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LeBron James, the Lakers player, is the first to reach 40,000 points in his career

LeBron James, the Lakers player, is the first to reach 40,000 points in his career

LOS ANGELES – LeBron James continues to expand his career into uncharted territory, becoming the first player in NBA history to reach 40,000 career points on Saturday night at Crypto.com Arena.

James entered the Los Angeles Lakers' game against the Denver Nuggets needing nine points to reach the mark. He got there on a drive-in layup at the 10:39 mark of the second quarter.

“No one has ever done that before,” James said when asked about his point total this week. “And for me to be in this position at this point and at this time in my career, I think it's pretty amazing. Does this represent the pinnacle of things I've done in my career? No. But does it mean anything? Of course. Absolutely. Why wouldn't it? ?To be able to accomplish things in this league, with the greatest players to ever play in this league, the NBA, that's been a dream of mine and to have accomplishments and to have accomplishments throughout my career, all of them mean something to me.

“There's obviously a pecking order [accomplishments] Higher than the others, but I'd be lying to you if I said that didn't mean anything. Because it definitely is.”

James fired his first volley of the night, a quick jumper over Denver's Aaron Gordon, and then quickly found his target. Anthony Davis deflected a pass to him as James sprinted down the floor, and the 21-year-old veteran finished the sequence by throwing the ball at the rim. Shortly after, James hit a corner 3-pointer with Nikola Jokic guarding him.

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James finished the first quarter with five points, and the home crowd counted down to 40,000 on the video board.

He started the second quarter with a layup and-1 to bring his total to seven, but he missed the free throw.

James missed a 3-pointer the next time, as fans raised their phones to record the possession in anticipation of his record-breaking hoop.

On Los Angeles' next drive down the floor, James got the ball beyond the three-point line, used a spin move to dribble around Michael Porter Jr. and scored on a layup with his left hand to give him nine points for the game and 40,000 points for the game. His career.

During the ensuing timeout, James was presented with the game ball and received a standing ovation from the crowd after the Lakers played a video greeting on the jumbotron.

James surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's career-high 38,387 points total last season to move past the heralded spot as the league's all-time scoring leader, a record Abdul-Jabbar has held for nearly 40 years.

“You just assume and expect these amazing things that he does, whether it's making seven 3-pointers or his downhill attacks, getting off the ground. [the dotted half circle in the lane] “He's still at this point in his career,” Lakers coach Darvin Hamm said before Saturday's game. “We won't see this for much longer and we have to appreciate him while he's here.” … Just give him credit for what he brought to the game, what he continues to bring to the game and his knowledge and his performance.

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“I'm honored to be able to coach him and see him firsthand.”

No other active player even has 30,000 career points. Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant is the closest with 28,342 points, making him the league's No. 9 all-time leading scorer.

When asked if he was motivated to continue playing to extend his lead as the match's top scorer, James said the record was never a goal.

“I never thought about setting a recording record,” James said. “It just happened naturally. I played the game the right way and I went out and played the game and let the game come to me and the scoring record happened naturally for me. That was never a goal of mine when I came into the league.” As if I wanted to be the all-time top scorer. But I'm still playing. And I can still score the ball [his point total is] “I'll go upstairs until I'm done playing.”