MANILA – LeBron James broke the National Basketball Association's (NBA) all-time regular season scoring record on Wednesday (Philippine Time), matching the needed points for him to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in just three quarters of the game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
Entering the game needing 36 points to set the new record, James converted a stepback jumper against the tough defense of Kenrich Williams with 10.9 seconds left in the third quarter for his 38,388th career point, which made him the new NBA scoring king.
However, the Lakers still dropped a close 130-133 win at home to the Thunder in a battle between teams still chasing a place in at least the play-in games.
The Thunder were red-hot from long-range, going 17-of-34 from the field to open a lead as high as 13 points, 129-116, with 2:32 left.
Russell Westbrook tried to bring his team back to the game, but Williams had the last laugh after getting scored upon by James for the scoring record by converting a wide-open slam dunk to ice the game.
James ended up with 38 points, still scoring a layup in the fourth quarter, moving his career total to 38,390, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals before sitting the rest of the way after feeling some pain in his right foot.
Westbrook added 27 points, four rebounds, eight assists, two steals and one block for the Lakers, who dropped to 25-30 for the year but are just two games behind the Utah Jazz for 10th place in the Western Conference.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder, who are now at 26-28, just within a half-game of the Jazz, with 30 points, two rebounds, eight assists and two steals, while Jalen Williams added 25 points, seven rebounds, two assists, six steals and one block even as Josh Giddey chipped in 20 points, five rebounds and six assists.
In the other NBA results, New York edged Orlando, 102-98, Phoenix clawed Brooklyn 116-112, New Orleans pipped Atlanta, 116-107, Memphis stifled Chicago, 104-89, and Denver whipped Minnesota, 146-112. (PNA)