LA Lakers' LeBron James becomes greatest NBA scorer, breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 40-year record

James threw his arms up in the air and smiled as he celebrated his record breaking point. Credit: AP

LeBron James shoots ahead of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the greatest NBA scorer of all time.

The basketball star broke the 40-year record on Tuesday night, at a Los Angeles Lakers match against Oklahoma City Thunder.

With 10.9 seconds left in the third quarter, James netted the ball, taking his career total to 38,388 points.

He broke the record with a 21-foot step-back jump shot.

Television coverage at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles showed the game being paused so his family could rush on-court for a special ceremony to mark the moment.

Lebron James watches as his record breaking shot goes in the net Credit: AP

James knocks Abdul-Jabar off the top spot, who had become the league’s leading scorer on April 5 1984, before retiring five years later with 38,387 points.

The former fellow Laker was there to see his record broken and rose from his seat at the game to applaud his successor.

It comes after 38-year-old James became the highest-earning player in NBA history when he signed a two-year extension with the Lakers worth 97.1million dollars (£80.6million) in August.

James, who has now played 1,410 NBA games, joined the Lakers from the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018.

The man who engineered the move, Earvin “Magic” Johnson said: "I want to personally thank you, LeBron, for trusting and believing in me and the Lakers in 2018 when I was president of basketball operations.”

He tweeted: “Everything you said you would do, you’ve done: Led the Lakers to a championship, elevated the Lakers brand, and gave back to the city of LA!”

James secured his fourth championship with the Lakers’ NBA Finals victory over his former side the Miami Heat in 2020.

But his big moment on Tuesday was unfortunately not enough to lift his side, who gave their visitors a scare before falling 133-130.

James finished the game with 38 points, and 38,390 total, as the Lakers’ second straight loss kept them safely towards the bottom of the Western Conference NBA league.

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