Lakers: LeBron breaks Kareem's all-time NBA scoring record
The Los Angeles Lakers may have lost to the Golden State Warriors, but it was a special occasion for LeBron James as he set another record.
LeBron James surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA's all-time leading points scorer in combined regular season and play-off history in the Los Angeles' Lakers loss to the Golden State Warriors.
The four-time NBA MVP led the scoring for the Lakers in Saturday's 117-115 defeat at Chase Center with 26 points, while also adding 15 rebounds and eight assists in another impressive display.
In doing so, James extended his streak of 25 points or more to 22 games and took his career points tally to 44,157, overtaking former Milwaukee Bucks and Lakers great Abdul-Jabbar's previous high of 44,149.
However, the achievement was bittersweet for the 37-year-old as it came in a narrow defeat for his side, with Klay Thompson grabbing the headlines thanks to his season-high 33 points.
"It's hard for me to speak on it now because I hate doing anything when it comes in a loss," James said. "And we had an opportunity to win a big game tonight."
Reflecting more widely on his career to date, James added: "I've been appreciative of the opportunity to play this game at the highest level.
"I love the game of basketball. I love being a part of the NBA and being able to inspire so many different sets of generations. I guess, it's a pretty big deal.
"In all my career, any time I've been linked with some of the greats, I've always just been in awe."
James still has work to do if he is to finish his career as the highest-scoring player in the regular season, as he trails Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928) with 36,526 points.
He has won four NBA Championships, four NBA MVP awards, four NBA Finals MVP awards and two Olympic gold medals with the United States in an illustrious career.
After hitting another milestone, Warriors pair Thompson and Steph Curry were among those to laud evergreen James.
"It's wild to think about how many games he's played, how long he's been doing it. The longevity of it all is legendary," Curry said.
"To be in that position where you've played that many games, you've been in so many different play-off runs, won championships and done it year after year, there is no real end in sight.
"That's a pretty special accomplishment. He's probably got his eyes set on the 'real' scoring title. It's crazy to think about."
Thompson added: "I don't know how much longer he has, maybe it's two years, maybe it's three. But NBA fans should appreciate it while they're watching such an amazing player."
James has a team-high 1,159 points this term for the Lakers, who are 26-31 following their loss to the Warriors, at an average of 29 per game across his 40 outings – only Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid (29.5) has averaged more.
Indeed, James' 29-point average is his best since 2009-10 when finishing with 29.7 through 76 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers.