James joins 20,000 club
CALIFORNIA – LeBron James became the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 career points last night, moving past the milestone with 25 points in Miami’s 92-75 victory over Golden State at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.James’s jump shot late in the second quarter gave him 20,001 career points.
He came into the contest needing 18 points to become the 38th player in NBA history to reach the mark.
“It means everything,” James said.
“It means I’m healthy, I’m able to be out there on the floor and also my teammates have allowed me to get to this milestone.”
The previous youngest to reach the 20,000-point mark was Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who made it when he was 29 years, 122 days old, while James was 28 years and 17 days old.
James reached the 20,000-point plateau in his 726th regular-season game. While he was the youngest to get there, Wilt Chamberlain needed just 499 games to reach the milestone.
In the first quarter, James’ pass to a driving Dwyane Wade for a dunk also gave him a 5,000th career assist, a mark he said he was equally proud of.
“Twenty-thousand points is big-time,” James said.
“I know the list is small and I’m humbled by it, but also 5,000 assists means a lot as well because I’ve had some good teammates over the years and I appreciate every single one of them.”
James became the 13th player to record 20,000 points and 5,000 assists.
Even better for James, the Heat won easily.
Wade contributed 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Miami, who have won two of their past three.
Mario Chalmers added 15 points, Chris Bosh scored 11 and Ray Allen scored 10 for the Heat, who rested their starters for the bulk of the fourth quarter and still maintained a double-digit lead.
Elsewhere, Jeff Teague had a career-high 28 points with 11 assists, Al Horford added 17 points with 13 rebounds and the short-handed Atlanta Hawks snapped the visiting Brooklyn Nets’ season-high seven-game winning streak 109-95.
The Hawks regrouped after being embarrassed 97-58 two days earlier by the Chicago Bulls and easily ran past the Nets for just their second win in the past eight outings.
Russell Westbrook poured in 25 of his 32 points in the first half, Kevin Durant and backup Kevin Martin added 20 apiece and the league-best Oklahoma City Thunder rolled to their fifth-consecutive win 117-97 while stopping the visiting Denver Nuggets’ season-high six-game success.
Luol Deng drilled the tie-breaking jumper with 3.3 seconds left in overtime, lifting visiting Chicago to a 107-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
In other results, San Antonio Spurs slammed the Memphis Grizzlies 103-82 and Dallas Mavericks defeated the Houston Rockets 105-100. The visiting New Orleans Hornets snapped the Boston Celtics’ season-high six-game winning streak 90-78, the Orlando Magic shot past the visiting Indiana Pacers 97-86, Cleveland Cavaliers trimmed the Portland Trail Blazers 93-88 and the Sacramento Kings held off the visiting Washington Wizards 95-94.††