DALLAS — While outdueling Luka Doncic on the court Friday night, LeBron James also managed to one-up Michael Jordan in the record books.
James passed Jordan for fourth place on the all-time field goals made list en route to a 35-point, 16-rebound, 7-assist night in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 129-114 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
His fast-break layup with 6 minutes, 31 seconds remaining in the third quarter was the 12,193rd made field goal in Game No. 1,234 of his career. Jordan had 12,192 in 1,072 games.
“Any time you’re in a marathon and you’re able to have feats throughout that marathon, I think it’s just pretty cool to be linked with the greats,” James said, referring to the grind of the regular season, during his on-court interview with ESPN’s Jorge Sedano after the game.
“You said the name Michael Jordan; it just means so much to me. Any time I’m linked with his name, with his greatness and what he was able to do with the game. Hopefully, I continue to make him and all the other greats proud. Any time I’m linked with them. Hopefully, I can continue to make my family and my fans proud, as well.”
Last season, James passed Jordan for fourth place on the all-time scoring list, an accomplishment that was dampened by the disappointment of a lost season for the Lakers.
Things are different this campaign, of course, with Friday’s victory extending the Lakers’ win streak to seven and improving their overall record to 31-7, good enough for first place in the Western Conference.
After the game, a reporter asked how the feat would cause others to reflect on James’ legacy in the future.
“I think my legacy will speak for [itself] when I’m done,” he said. “I don’t really talk about my legacy.”
Next up on the all-time field goals made list at No. 3 is Wilt Chamberlain (12,681). Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (15,837) is first, and Karl Malone (13,528) is second.
James also passed Artis Gilmore to move into 50th on the all-time rebounding list, upping his career total to 9,176 boards.
He will enter Saturday’s game at the Oklahoma City Thunder needing three assists to pass Isiah Thomas for No. 8 on that all-time list.
“He’s just special. You know what I mean? There’s not enough adjectives, really, to describe LeBron James,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s a guy that’s going to be setting milestones or breaking records every few games, seemingly, probably, for the rest of his career. So it’s pretty awesome.”