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

All-time NBA scoring champion LeBron James has reached a new milestone.

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

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

Then, two possessions later, James made another layup by Michael Porter Jr. to score 40,000 career points.

James reached the threshold a year after setting the NBA's all-time scoring record. On February 8 of last season, James scored his 38,388th point, passing previous scoring champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He continues to add to his tally, and future challengers have yet to reach this feat.

“I mean, I can't sit here and say no, because of course. Nobody does that,” James said when asked if he was worried about 40,000 points Thursday night. “And for me to be at this point and at this point in my career, I think it's pretty cool. Is it the top thing I've ever done in my life? No. But does it mean something? Sure. Absolutely . Why not?”

James, 39, is one of the game's leading scorers in his 21st NBA season. He finished 15th in scoring this season with 25.3 points per game. Since averaging 20.9 points per game in 2003-04, James has scored at least 25 points in each of the following 20 NBA seasons. He was the league's scoring champion with 30 points per game in 2007-08 and has surpassed that 30-point average twice in his career.

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Two games ago, James scored 19 points in the fourth quarter to rally the Lakers from a 21-point fourth quarter deficit to a 116-112 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. He led all scorers in that game with 34 points. James finished Saturday's game with 26 points and nine assists, shooting 12-for-20 from the field.

As long as he stays healthy, expect James to continue adding to his numbers this season. The The Lakers are vying for a playoff spot as the 10th seed in the Western Conference standings and will continue to lean on James during the stretch run of the season. It remains to be seen if he can keep them in the playoff race or drag them back into contention to avoid a play-in contest.

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