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Top 5 Players With Most Career Points In NBA History

In February 2023, LeBron James became the NBA’s all-time best scorer, breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s long-standing record. For over 39 years, a seemingly unbreakable record held, until LeBron broke it.

Let’s take a look at the top five NBA scorers throughout history.

1. LeBron James (40.017)*

LeBron James made history by driving past Michael Porter Jr. and making a layup against the Denver Nuggets with around 11 minutes left in the second quarter. This historic accomplishment made him the first NBA player to achieve 40,000 career points.

LeBron has 40,017 points in around 56 thousand minutes played in the league. 

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38.387)

On April 5, 1984, while playing against Utah, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shattered Wilt Chamberlain’s NBA scoring record. This historic moment came when he got a pass from Johnson and scored from 15 feet using his patented skyhook, outscoring shot-blocking expert Mark Eaton.

Abdul-Jabbar set this record nine months before James was born, and it stood for over 40 years before being broken by the 38-year-old Lakers great in 2023. He became the first player to score more than 35,000 points in his career.

3. Karl Malone(36,928)

Karl Malone is currently third on the all-time NBA scoring list. He scored 36,928 points (25.0 per game), ranking third all-time, while shooting 516 in 1,476 NBA games (sixth all-time) and 1,471 starts (the most ever, never coming off the bench after his debut season). During the 2002-2003 season, Malone surpassed Wilt Chamberlain for the second-most points scored in NBA history, scoring 36,374 points.

4. Kobe Bryant (33.643)

The fourth-place record is held by the legendary Kobe Bryant, who led the league in both regular and postseason scoring. On December 14, 2014, before a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Bryant needed nine points to surpass Jordan’s career total of 32,292. He achieved this goal with 5:24 remaining in the first half, scoring two free throws to tie and win the game.

5. Michael Jordan (32.292)

Jordan, a five-time regular season NBA MVP and six-time NBA champion, scored 32,292 points in 1,072 games and 41,011 minutes, placing him fifth all-time in NBA scoring. Throughout 15 seasons, Jordan averaged 30.1 points per game, showcasing legendary point guard talent. His NBA career average points per game is now tied with Wilt Chamberlain, the league’s all-time leader in scoring.

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Swastika Dubey
Swastika Dubey
Swastika's inclination towards sports, irrespective of the game, has often left her peers awestruck. She never misses a sporting event and devours every single piece of information pertaining to an athlete or their game. People who know her say that calling her a sports fanatic would be an understatement.

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