LeBron reaches two milestones in win
January, 17, 2013
By ESPN Stats & Information
With a basket with 2:45 remaining in the second quarter, LeBron James surpassed 20,000 points for his NBA career, becoming the 38th player in NBA history and eighth active player to hit that mark.
The 20,000th point wasn't the only milestone James hit in the game, he also registered his 5,000th career assist. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only one player has hit both 20,000 points and 5,000 in fewer games than James, Oscar Robertson.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, James is the youngest player in NBA history to reach 20,000 points and the only player to do so before his 29th birthday, breaking Kobe Bryant’s record by over a year. However, it took James 726 games to hit 20,000, which is just the eighth fewest.
However, Karl Malone, who is the second-leading scorer in NBA history, needed 772 games to reach 20,000. Kobe Bryant, who is fifth, needed 810 games.
James finished Wednesday night’s game, a 92-75 Miami Heat victory over the Golden State Warriors, with 25 points on 11-of-20 shooting from the field, doing most of his damage in the mid-range game.
James went 6-for-9, including hitting the shot that reached 20,000 points, on shots from 10-24 feet.
James was much more efficient in isolation plays Wednesday compared to his last meeting against the Warriors on Dec. 12. He scored eight points in both games on such plays, but this time shot 66.7 percent from the floor compared to 40.0 percent then.
Now that 20,000 has come and gone, it’s reasonable to start looking much further down the road and ask the question: Can LeBron James catch Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most points in NBA history?
James is off to a good start as being the youngest to 20,000. And he’s shown a great deal of durability. Since his rookie season, only Jason Terry and Andre Miller have played more regular-season games than James.
If James averages 25 points per game and 75 games a season, he would pass Abdul-Jabbar during the early parts of the 2022-23 season in his age-38 season.
The next round numbers will bring very selective clubs. Only 15 players in NBA history have 25,000 points, however Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki are over 24,000. There’s only five players in NBA history with 30,000 points: Abdul-Jabbar, Malone, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Bryant.