LeBron James surrenders 38,000 points in Lakers loss to 76ers


LeBron James became the second player in NBA history to have 38,000 career points, but Joel Embiid had 35 points and 11 rebounds while the Philadelphia 76ers held off the Los Angeles Lakers 113-112 Sunday night for their seventh win in nine games.

Russell Westbrook failed to get a clean shot or pass in the last second under Embiid’s defense, allowing the 76ers to cling to their fourth straight win. James Harden added 24 points and 13 assists for Philadelphia, who won the season series and defeated Los Angeles for a sixth straight season.

James recorded 35 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Lakers, who have lost three straight after a five-game winning streak.

James topped 38,000 points with a jumper that was part of his 8-on-9 16-point start in the first quarter. The Lakers crowd gave him an ovation as the milestone was announced during the next timeout break, and Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers laughed and hugged James in celebration.

James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only members of the NBA’s 38,000-point club, and James will overtake Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points) at the top of the career scorers list next month if he maintains his current pace.

[When will LeBron pass Kareem: NBA all-time scoring tracker]

No team led by more than eight points in a well-played game. Georges Niang hit a 3-pointer on an assist from Embiid with 1:28 left to put Philadelphia 111-109.

A lengthy video review then overruled a call and resulted in a turnover for James before Embiid dropped a 14-foot jumper with 45.5 seconds left. Troy Brown Jr. hit a 3-pointer corner to cut Philly’s lead to a point and Embiid missed a jumper with Westbrook in the face.

Westbrook drove to the basket with a chance to win it but was unable to intercept a shot or pass as an apparent crosscourt pass attempt was deflected off Niang’s hands before time ran out.

Westbrook had 20 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, extending his NBA record with his 198th career triple-double. Westbrook has four triple-doubles off the bench this season, overtaking Detlef Schrempf for the career record for triple-doubles as a reserve.

Tyrese Maxey had 16 points and Tobias Harris had 15 in Philly’s fourth straight road win over the Lakers since March 2020.

Associated Press coverage.

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