Janes LeBron is 1st Player in NBA History to Surpass 39,000 Career Points

Already the NBA’s career scoring leader, LeBron James reached uncharted territory Tuesday night by becoming the only player in NBA history to score 39,000 career points.

James reached the milestone with a 3-pointer in the first quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 131-99 victory over the Utah Jazz. He finished with 17 points in 24 minutes as the Lakers completed an unbeaten run through Group Play in the NBA In-Season Tournament.

“I got congratulated by my teammates and coaches, (but) I haven’t had an opportunity to really wrap my head around what that means,” James said. “There’s been so many great players that came across this league since the beginning of time, and so many great scorers. To be able to accomplish something that’s the first of anything, I think that’s always pretty cool. It’s a wild moment, that’s for sure.”

James continues to play at an elite level in his 21st season, averaging 26.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists. At his current pace — and assuming good health — James should reach 40,000 points later this season.

In NBA history, only seven players have scored more than 30,000 points: James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928), Kobe Bryant (33,643), Michael Jordan (32,292), Dirk Nowitzki (31,560) and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419). Of those seven, five of them — James, Abdul-Jabbar, Malone, Bryant and Chamberlain — spent all or a portion of their career playing for the Lakers.

The next active player who could enter the 30,000-point club is Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant. He surpassed Elvin Hayes for No. 11 on the all-time scoring list on Tuesday and has 27,331 points in his career. He needs 2,669 more points to reach 30,000 in his career.

After Durant, LA Clippers guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook are the next active players with a shot at 30,000 points. Harden has 24,805 points in his career, while Westbrook has 24,615.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.