LeBron James has now scored 35,000 career points, the third-most in NBA history

Ryan Young
·3 min read

LeBron James officially hit another milestone in his career on Thursday night, one that only two others in NBA history have ever reached.

James officially surpassed the 35,000 points mark in his career.

James entered Thursday’s 109-98 loss to the Brooklyn Nets at the Staples Center just 15 shy of 35,000 points. He hit that just before halftime after he sank a free throw after picking up a foul driving to the rim.

James ended the half with 17 points, though the Lakers went to the locker room trailing Brooklyn by 11. He finished the night with 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists — but that wasn’t enough to get the Lakers back into the game. The Nets opened the second half on a quick 6-0 run, and pushed their lead to 20 points before the end of the third to secure an easy path to the 11-point win.

James Harden led the Nets with 23 points and 11 assists while shooting 7-of-15 from the field. Joe Harris added 21 points on 10 shots, and Kyrie Irving finished with 16 points.

Kyle Kuzma added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, and Montrezl Harrell dropped 10 points off the bench. Those two, along with James, were the only three to score in double figures for the Lakers — who were still missing Anthony Davis due to a calf strain.

Will LeBron James top Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

While the milestone is impressive, it doesn't actually move James on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

James still sits at third on the list, and trails Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — who leads the league with 38,387 points in his career. Kobe Bryant is fourth with 33,643 points and Michael Jordan is fifth at 32,292.

The closest active player on the list is Carmelo Anthony, who sits at 12th with more than 26,000 points. Kevin Durant is next at 27th with more than 23,000 points.

James is the youngest to join the 35,000-point club, which could play out in his favor. The 36-year-old has averaged 27 points throughout his career headed into Thursday's game. If he keeps that pace up, he'll need about 125 games to surpass Abdul-Jabbar — meaning he could be the NBA's all-time leading scorer early in the 2022-23 season.

That record, depending on when he wants to retire, is definitely obtainable for the four-time MVP.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James shoots over Brooklyn Nets forward Jeff Green during the first half of their game Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

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