LeBron passes Malone tally but Lakers slump
LeBron James moved into second place on the NBA’s all-time regular season points scoring rankings on March 19 but could not prevent the Los Angeles Lakers from slumping to defeat against the Washington Wizards.
James produced a typically virtuoso performance to finish with 38 points and 10 rebounds at the Wizards’ Capital One Arena.
That was enough to power James past Karl Malone into second place in the regular season scorers rankings with 36,947 points. But it did not stop the Lakers from sliding to a jarring 127-119 loss against a Wizards side which had been on a six-game losing streak.
“Just to be a part of this league for as many years as I’ve been a part of it, to be linked with some of the greatest to ever play this game, guys I’ve watched or studied, or read about, or inspired to be like, I’m just lost for words for it,” James said of his scoring achievement.
“It’s an honor for myself, for my friends and family to live these moments, for anyone who’s shared my journey.”
James, who holds the NBA’s outright scoring record for regular season and playoff games, started the game needing just 20 points to surpass Malone’s regular season total of 36,928.
James wasted no time in hunting down Malone’s benchmark, rapidly reaching double figures before moving to 16 points with back-to-back three-pointers early in the second quarter.
The four-time NBA champion then added another three-pointer to tie Malone, before finally taking sole possession of second place with a two-point layup with just over five minutes left in the second quarter.
The Washington crowd gave James an ovation after he reached the milestone, with the Lakers star saluting fans as he basked in the applause.