WASHINGTON -- Lakers forward LeBron James climbed to second all-time on the NBA’s points list with a drive to the basket and a lay-up that earned him a standing ovation from the crowd at Capital One Arena.
James, with his lay-up, had put up 21 points against the Wizards in a brilliant second quarter. At the time of his historic basket, he's totaled 36,930 career points. It was good enough to pass Hall of Famer Karl Malone for sole possession of second place.
Earlier in the quarter, he moved into a tie for second place with a 3-pointer and a hand in his face in part of a ridiculous stretch where he scored 15-straight Los Angeles points to open the frame. The last points of that stretch were the points that moved him into second place.
Malone originally held the second spot all-time with 36,928 career points, but James’ bucket in Washington moved him down the list as the 19-year pro showed off his trademark dominance both in the paint and beyond the arc.
With many James and Los Angeles fans in the crowd, there was a loud roar as the crowd cheered for his basket, then another one as they recognized the significance of those points. The Jumbotron flashed the milestone, as the game was paused for a brief moment to give James a standing ovation and to allow him to thank the crowd.
James now has just Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who has 38,387 career points, to chase down and become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer to put another notch on his Hall of Fame career.
Ironically, James will begin his pursuit of No. 1 in Cleveland on Monday against the Cavaliers.