With his 13th point during Saturday’s marquee matchup with the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas Day in Los Angeles, LeBron James passed Kobe Bryant to claim the all-time career scoring lead on Christmas Day.
The second-quarter free throw provided James with his 396th point, leaving him atop the field after 74 years of NBA games on Christmas Day. He tied Bryant on a layup assisted by Russell Westbrook with 4:13 to play in the half, then hit a free throw shortly after being fouled in transition on the Lakers’ next possession.
Christmas King 👑@KingJames becomes the NBA’s all-time leading scorer on Christmas Day, passing Lakers Legend Kobe Bryant. #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/MAaa3s3IfG
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 26, 2021
James — who finished with 39 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, three steals and a block — has now played in a league-high-tying 16 games on Christmas Day (a mark he shares with Bryant), and has made the most field goals (150) in Christmas Day history. He broke a tie with Kevin Durant for the 3-point lead, raising that mark to 28, and passed Dolph Schayes for third on the holiday’s free throws made list, with 94 after shooting 8-for-9 at the line Saturday.
Teammate Westbrook also surpassed Bryant on Saturday — for third in Christmas assists, with 11 pushing his career total to 93. He added 13 points and 12 rebounds to join Oscar Robertson as the only players with multiple Christmas Day triple-doubles.
Across the court, Nets guard Patty Mills set a Christmas Day single-game record with eight 3s. He totaled a career-high-tying 34 points on 11-for-17 shooting, including 8-for-13 from range, with seven assists and no turnovers.
And James Harden became the eighth player to log a Christmas Day triple-double, with 36 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists; that made Saturday’s matchup the first Christmas Day game with multiple triple-doubles.
NBA on Christmas Day: Career All-Time Scoring Leaders
1. LeBron James | 422 points (16 games)*
2. Kobe Bryant | 395 points (16 games)
3. Oscar Robertson | 377 points (12 games)
4. Dwyane Wade | 314 points (13 games)
5. Kevin Durant | 299 points (10 games)*