WASHINGTON — LeBron James moved into second place on the NBA's career scoring list Saturday night, surpassing Karl Malone in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers' game at Washington.
The Akron native now trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the lead. He entered the game 19 points behind Malone's total of 36,928. After a six-point first quarter, James went on a scoring binge in the second that included a dunk and three 3-pointers.
The last of those 3s brought him even with Malone. Then he made a layup off a backdoor cut with 5:20 left in the quarter to move ahead.
Moments later, as Washington's Tomas Satoransky prepared to shoot free throws, James' accomplishment was put up on the video screen, and the crowd in Washington gave him a standing ovation. James acknowledged the cheers with a wave of his hand and exchanged a hug with Washington's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a former teammate.
James then checked out of the game and received congratulations from teammates on the sideline. The former Cavaliers star finished the game with 38, giving him 36,947 for his career.
Abdul-Jabbar scored 38,387 points in his 20 seasons. James has a chance to break that record next year, if he's healthy enough.
James passed Malone in the same building where Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals moved past Jaromir Jagr and into third place on the NHL's career list in goals earlier in the week. Despite his efforts, the Lakers lost 127-119, and are now 10th in the Western Conference.