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LeBron James becomes first NBA player to score 40,000 points

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Lebron James makes NBA history, hits 39,000 points

LeBron James became the first NBA player to reach 40,000 career regular-season points in Saturday’s game against the Denver Nuggets.

But he described it as “bittersweet” after his Los Angeles Lakers team lost 124-114 to the defending NBA champions.

“Being the first player to do something, it’s pretty cool in this league,” said the 39-year-old, who scored 26 points on the night.

“You just know the history; you know the greats that have come through.”

James scored the historic basket with 10 minutes and 39 seconds remaining in the second quarter with a driving lay-up from the left side of the basket to give the Lakers a 37-32 lead.

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The crowd gave James a standing ovation during a timeout, and the ball he used to reach the milestone was removed from the game.

However, the Nuggets stretched their winning streak to six games thanks to 35 points from Nikola Jokic, leaving James with mixed feelings.

“The main thing is always the main thing, and that’s the win,” he said. “And I hated that it had to happen in a defeat, especially versus a team that plays extremely well.

“We played some good basketball but weren’t able to close it out, so it’s bittersweet, but I enjoyed every moment on the floor.”

James became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer in February 2023, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s long-standing record of 38,387 points.

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The four-time NBA champion and four-time Most Valuable Player is in his 21st campaign and is the league’s oldest active player.

James said he did not know if another NBA player could reach the 40,000-point milestone.

“You have to play the game quite a while and have some good luck with injuries and things of that nature,” he said.

“You have to take care of your body. You have to be present on the floor, and then you have to be productive as well.”

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Lakers coach Darvin Ham was among those to pay tribute to James.

“I’m just happy for him. It was a hell of an accomplishment,” he said.

“Wish we could have gotten the win to cap it off. But my hat’s off to him. Amazing, amazing run that continues to this day.”

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