LeBron James was the biggest story in the sport on Tuesday as he became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, but the Oklahoma City Thunder has the last laugh.
James set the legendary record at the end of the third quarter, with a turnaround jump shot from the free throw line, scoring his 36th point of the game, and his 38,388th overall season point overall, breaking the 39-year record of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. .
But it was the Thunder that led 104-99 at the time of the basket, and it would be the Thunder that would come away with the 133-130 win.
Oklahoma City was led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who remains one of seven players this season to average at least 30 points per game (30.8) after scoring an even 30 on nine-of-17 shooting, good for eight assists and two steals.
Rookie wing Jalen Williams was stellar with 25 points (10-of-19 shooting), seven rebounds and six steals, while point guard Josh Giddey added 20 points (10-of-19), six assists and five rebounds.
James ended up scoring a game-high 38 points on 13-of-20 shooting with seven rebounds and three steals, while Russell Westbrook posted one of his better performances this season with 27 points (10-of-19), eight assists and two steals .
With the win, the Thunder improved their record to 26-28 to sit 11th in the Western Conference, though things are so close that they are only 2.5 games away from the six seed.
The Lakers fell to 25-30 and are four games back of the Dallas Mavericks in six seeded series.
Thomas makes history when Booker returns for Phoenix
Brooklyn Nets rising star Cam Thomas became the youngest player ever to score 40 points in three consecutive games, but the return of Devin Booker propelled the Phoenix Suns to a 116-112 win.
After scoring a career-high 44 points against the Washington Wizards on Saturday, followed by another career-high 47 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, Thomas lost 43 against the Suns.
He shot 11-of-23 from the field—his worst shooting performance in this three-game streak—but increased his score by going 18-of-20 from the free throw line.
But the return of Devin Booker after 21 games and six weeks on the sideline shocked the Suns’ arm, who contributed 19 points on six-of-15 shooting with six assists in 26 minutes as Deandre Ayton dominated the action with 35 points (14-of-18) and 15 rebounds.
Another Jokic masterclass blows the Timberwolves away
Reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic showed exactly why he’s the favorite to make it a three-peat with a dominant performance in the Denver Nuggets’ 146-112 blowout of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Jokic had 17 points on eight-of-10 shooting with 10 rebounds and 10 assists at halftime, and he did not attempt a field goal in the second half, finishing with 20 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds.
He has a chance to become the first center in NBA history to average a triple-double if he can maintain his current tally of 24.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 10.2 assists, while Michael Porter Jr. 11-of-15 shooting.