LeBron is now NBA’s all-time leading scorer

The game felt secondary as we saw a record get broken. But the fact of the matter is that a game did happen as the Lakers lost to the Thunder, 133-130.

Before we get to said record, let’s talk about the game. The Lakers looked like they were all over the place (and it’s already distracting as it was). The Thunder were seemingly making every three-pointer in the first half (they had 12). And the Lakers were playing uphill nearly the entire time. The Thunder led the Lakers, 76-66, by the break.

The focus turned to the record in the third quarter as LeBron James was 16 points away (he was 36 coming into this game). It was clear he wanted to try a hook shot when he posted up right before the record-breaking moment. In the next possession, he got the ball from Russell Westbrook and went for a fadeaway jumper. Here’s the moment:

Just amazing.

But back at the game, the Lakers seemed motivated after the record was broken. Los Angeles scored 7 straight at the start of the fourth quarter to tie it at 106. But then the Oklahoma City Thunder went back at them with 12 unanswered points themselves. The Lakers never really had another chance after that though Russell Westbrook did attempt to lead a late rally.

Both teams shot well but the Lakers committed 20 turnovers. We knew this was gonna be a problem, especially with the distraction of the record happening. But they didn’t play great defense all game, either. And the Thunder just rained threes on them.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander got to the paint at will, like he’s done all season. He went for 30 points. Jalen Williams went for 25 while Josh Giddey scored 20. Isaiah Joe made big threes on his way to 15 and Lakers fans might find this insulting but ex-Laker Mike Muscala went for 16 points in 17 minutes.

LeBron James got the 36 points he needed before the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, he only scored two more afterwards (for a total of 38) and pulled himself out of the game as his foot was bothering him. Russell Westbrook scored 27 off the bench while Rui Hachimura went for 14. Anthony Davis was very silent with 13 points.

I’ve said what I’ve needed to say about where the Lakers stand: they’re 25-30 and everyone is leaving them behind in the standings. They’re suddenly two games behind the #10 spot. Every win is important and every loss is very damaging.

As for LeBron James breaking the record, I never thought it would happen. After all, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 38,387 points in 20 years. And he only missed 80 possible regular season games. Remember that the Captain played in an era where three-pointers weren’t emphasized as they are now. Abdul-Jabbar only made one three-point field goal in his career. That is amazing. Kareem never seems to get enough credit and flowers for what he has done in his career. If you call Kareem Abdul-Jabbar the greatest ever, I won’t argue against it.

However, LeBron James has now claimed the title of “greatest scorer ever.” He has 38,390 career points and he’ll continue to climb. For a “pass-first” guy, this isn’t bad at all, is it?

His years with the Lakers have been filled with injuries but he still hasn’t missed half a regular season in his career. His longevity, especially as players have gotten more athletic, has been more than impressive. LeBron is a train that never stopped. Even today, it seemed like he can get 10 points in a row whenever he wanted. And he’s still doing this at 38 years old.

The consistency is ridiculous. He averages 27.2 points for his career. His lowest scoring average for a season is 20.9 points and that happened to be his rookie year. He never had a season lower than 25 points per game outside of that. Again, he’s 38 years old. He’s still doing this now.

The pass-first LeBron James is the definition of a walking bucket. His repertoire has expanded exponentially since he came into the league. He wasn’t a great shooter when he came into the league and he’s added the three-pointer into his game (ignore that he’s not doing great this season). He didn’t have that fadeaway, the shot he used to break the record with. And remember that banker he made to beat the Raptors? Whenever his team needed a bucket, he’s come through a lot.

It’s been a pleasure to watch LeBron James, even when there were a few years that I disliked him (remember that decision). Now what we’re getting is a bonus; how high can LeBron take this record? 40,000 points? 45,000? I’m excited to see what happens.

Give credit to the Thunder, though. This young team went through all the hoopla and distractions and got it done against an emotionally-charged Los Angeles team and crowd. And Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is already a handful today; imagine him in the next few years.

As for the Lakers? Gotta move on to Thursday against the Milwaukee Bucks. Let’s see them try to get a win.

Congratulations, LeBron James.

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