WASHINGTON (AP) — LeBron James moved into second place on the NBA’s career scoring list Saturday night, surpassing Karl Malone in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ game at Washington.
James now trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the lead. He entered the game 19 points behind Malone’s total of 36,928. After a six-point first quarter, James went on a scoring binge in the second that included a dunk and three 3-pointers.
The last of those 3s brought him even with Malone. Then he made a layup off a backdoor cut with 5:20 left in the quarter to move ahead.
Malone occupied the No. 2 spot since Dec. 6, 2000, when he moved past Wilt Chamberlain.
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Moments later, as Washington’s Tomas Satoransky prepared to shoot free throws, James’ accomplishment was put up on the video screen, and the crowd in Washington gave him a standing ovation. James acknowledged the cheers with a wave of his hand and exchanged a hug with Washington’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a former teammate.
? LeBron receives a standing ovation after moving into 2nd All-Time in Scoring!
— NBA (@NBA) March 20, 2022
James then checked out of the game and received congratulations from teammates on the sideline.
Abdul-Jabbar scored 38,387 points in his career. James has a chance to break that record next season if he’s healthy enough.