History for LeBron James As Lakers Advance in NBA In-Season Tournament

On Tuesday, LeBron James became the first player in NBA history to achieve 39,000 points as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Utah Jazz to advance to the knockout stage of the league’s new in-season competition.

The 38-year-old, who needed just five points to reach the milestone before the game, inscribed his name in the record books with a three-pointer in the first quarter of the Lakers’ 131-99 victory.

James, who eclipsed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time top scorer last season, saluted the fans as his accomplishment was announced.

“I haven’t really had an opportunity to wrap my head around what it means,” James said of his latest scoring milestone.

“There’s been so many great players in this league since the beginning of time, and so many great scorers.

“To be able to be the first of anything is always pretty cool. A wild moment, for sure.”

James’ milestone set the tone for a joyous event at the Crypto.com Arena, as the Lakers went on to win the game from start to finish and advance to the quarter-finals of the in-season competition.

Anthony Davis lead the Lakers scorers with 26 points, 16 rebounds, and four assists, while James ended with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

In other news, Kevin Durant moved up to 11th place on the NBA’s career scoring list in Phoenix’s 120-107 thrashing of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Durant needed 14 points to pass Elvin Hayes on the scoring lists, and he got them in a fast-paced first quarter. Durant led the Phoenix scoring with 31 points, bringing his career total to 27,331 points.

Pacers Advance

In a thrilling shootout, the Indiana Pacers defeated the Atlanta Hawks 157-152 to advance to the knockout stages.

Tyrese Haliburton of Indiana, who remarked last week that the new tournament gives “more juice” to early season games, scored 22 of his 37 points in the third quarter as the Pacers overcame a 20-point first-half deficit.

Buddy Hield came up big in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 of his 24 points as the Pacers pulled out on top after a tense finish.

“It’s good to clinch,” Haliburton — who also handed out 16 assists — said after the Pacers improved to 3-0 in tournament play and locked up first place in East’s Group A.

“Buddy won us the game down the stretch, a lot of big buckets.”

With 1:20 remaining, Hield’s three-pointer put Indiana up 152-150. After Saddiq Bey tied the game with a layup, Hield hit another three-pointer to give the Pacers a 155-152 advantage with less than a minute remaining.

With five-tenths of a second remained, Hield concluded the incredible score with an alley-oop slam.

Hield made nine of 11 field goals and all six of his three-point attempts.

Indiana’s Obi Toppin scored 21 points off the bench, and Bennedict Mathurin added 19.

Trae Young led the Hawks with 38 points as they built a 20-point advantage in the second quarter.

The quarter-finals will be held in Las Vegas on December 4-5, with the winners advancing to the semi-finals on December 7 and the title match on December 9.

Darius Garland scored 32 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 122-119 overtime victory over the 76ers in Philadelphia.

It kept the Cavs’ prospects of progressing to the next round of the tournament alive.

Jarrett Allen led the Cavs with 26 points and 13 rebounds, while Max Strus hit five three-pointers on his way to 20 points. The Cavs won despite missing injured Donovan Mitchell and Carmelo Anthony.

For Philadelphia, reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid scored 32 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while Tyrese Maxey added 30 points, but the 76ers were eliminated from tournament contention.

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