LeBron James becomes the first player in NBA history to score 40,000 points in his career

LeBron James has now scored 40,000 points in his career. (Caitlin Mulcahy/Getty Images)

LeBron James, the all-time NBA champion, has reached a new milestone.

James has now become the first player in NBA history to score 40,000 points in his career. The Los Angeles Lakers All-Star team officially crossed the threshold on Saturday night with a 124-114 loss to the Denver Nuggets at Crypto.com Arena.

James entered the game with 39,991 points after scoring 31 points in his team's victory over the Washington Wizards on Thursday. He scored his first bucket Saturday on a fast-break layup midway through the first quarter, then followed it up with a 3-pointer just minutes later. James then opened the second quarter with a layup by a pair of Nuggets players.

Then two possessions later, James made another layup after driving past Michael Porter Jr. to reach 40,000 career points.

James reached this threshold just over a year after setting the all-time NBA scoring record. On February 8 of last season, James scored his 38,388th point, surpassing former scoring champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the scoring column. He has been steadily adding to his total ever since, putting the record out of reach of future rivals.

“I mean I can't sit here and say no because of course no one has ever done that before,” James said when asked if he cared about the 40,000-point mark Thursday night. “And for me to be in this position and at this time in my career, I think it's pretty amazing. Is this one of the most important things I've done in my career? No. But does it mean anything? Of course. Absolutely. Why not?”

James (39 years old) is still one of the best scorers in his twentieth season in the NBA. He entered Saturday ranked 15th in scoring this season with 25.3 points per game. Since averaging 20.9 points per game as a rookie in the 2003-04 season, James has averaged at least 25 points in each of the next 19 NBA seasons. He was the league champion in the 2007-2008 season with 30 points per game and has averaged more than 30 points twice in his career.

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Just two games ago, James scored 19 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Lakers to overturn a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win 116-112 over the Los Angeles Clippers. He led all scorers in that match with 34 points. James finished Saturday with 26 points and nine assists while shooting 12 of 20 from the field.

As long as he remains healthy, James expects to continue adding to his score this season. the The Lakers are competing for a playoff spot as the tenth team in the Western Conference standings and will continue to rely heavily on James during the extended period of the season. It remains to be seen whether he can keep them in the playoff race, or even get them back into contention to avoid a play-in tournament.

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