Anthony entered the night needing 15 points to top Malone’s total of 27,409. After scoring nine in the first half, Anthony subbed in with 4:17 remaining in the third quarter and hit two straight 3-pointers to give him 15 points for the game and 27,410 for his career.
Melo leapfrogged Malone on this pull-up 3.
Anthony, who signed with Los Angeles this past offseason, finished with a team-high 28 points in 27 minutes off the bench, shooting 6 of 8 from deep and 10 of 15 overall. His big game helped the Lakers pick up their first win of the season as they outlasted Memphis 121-118.
“I keep saying it’s an honor and blessing to be on that list and pass Moses (Malone) for what he did for the game of basketball,” Anthony told reporters (h/t the Associated Press). “It’s hard to put it into words. That I’m still here and doing it, that’s what I’m excited about, that I’m here in Year 19 and doing what I’m able to do. I’m still passionate about the game, and I’m still passionate about coming to work and getting better.”
Anthony, who received the game ball, said he was asked to make a speech postgame but was "too tired."
Next on the all-time scoring list for Anthony to try to chase down is a Lakers legend. Four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal is 1,173 points ahead of Anthony in eighth. For the 37-year-old Anthony to catch Shaq this season, he would have to put forth his best scoring campaign since 2017-18 when he tallied 1,261 points with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Melo might not be the only Laker who improves his standing among the top 10 scorers of all time in 2021-22 either.
LeBron James currently sits in third on the all-time list with 35,445 points, trailing Karl Malone by fewer than 1,500 points for second. James entered the season needing 1,562 points to overtake Malone, and he's reached that point total in 16 of his 18 seasons.
Here’s an updated look at the top 10 scorers in NBA history following Sunday night's action:
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 38,387
- Karl Malone: 36,928
- LeBron James: 35,445
- Kobe Bryant: 33,643
- Michael Jordan: 32,292
- Dirk Nowitzki: 31,560
- Wilt Chamberlain: 31,419
- Shaquille O'Neal: 28,596
- Carmelo Anthony: 27,423
- Moses Malone: 27,409