Los Angeles Lakers forward scores 44 points in win over Portland Trail Blazers to move behind Michael Jordan
LeBron James passes Wilt Chamberlain for 5th on NBA scoring list
With a three-point play late in the fourth quarter Wednesday night, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James passed Wilt Chamberlain for fifth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
James entered the home game against the Portland Trail Blazers needing 39 points to pass the Hall of Famer. He had 36 before he drove to hit a 12-foot jumper and was fouled by Jake Layman. By sinking the foul shot, James hiked his career point total past Chamberlain's 31,419 and boosted the Lakers' lead to 121-106.
James added five more points to give him 44 on the night and 31,425 for his career. He just missed recording a triple-double, as he added 10 rebounds and nine assists in a game that Los Angeles won 126-117.
The next target for James on the all-time scoring list is Michael Jordan, who finished with 32,292 points. The top three on the list are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928) and Kobe Bryant (33,643).
"Anytime my name is mentioned with some of the greats who have played this game, I'll always think back to my hometown, how far I've come," James told reporters.
He was referring to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, the gritty blue collar city south of Cleveland where he was born and raised.
James left the Cleveland Cavaliers in the off-season for the storied Los Angeles Lakers, which despite having fallen on hard times in recent years remains one of the league's glamour franchises.
"Knowing where I've come from and knowing how hard it was to get to this point ... I give it all to the man above for giving me god given abilities," James said.
"I'm taking full advantage of them and then my coaching staff and team mates throughout my 16 years so far have got me to this point."
James has been selected as NBA Most Valuable Player four times and has three championship rings, two with the Miami Heat and one with the Cavaliers.