LeBron James earns 81st 30-point game since turning 35, passes Karl Malone

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Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James earns 81st 30-point game since turning 35, passes Karl Malone for most in NBA history

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James recorded his 81st 30-point game since turning 35 years old, passing Karl Malone for the most by any player aged 35 or older in NBA history, in Wednesday’s 130-125 overtime win against the Los Angeles Clippers.

In 43 minutes of action, the four-time MVP ended his night with a season-high 35 points, along with 12 rebounds, seven assists, one steal, and two blocks. James, 38, also shot 13-of-19 (68.4%) from the floor, 4-of-8 (50%) beyond the arc, and 5-of-10 (50%) at the foul line.

According to a few NBA betting sites, the Los Angeles Lakers hold sixth-shortest odds to win this season’s 2024 championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat.

The 19-time All-Star is the first player in NBA history to score 35 or more points in a game in their 21st season. James had plenty of help in Wednesday night’s victory. Austin Reaves scored seven of his 15 points in overtime. Anthony Davis added 27 points and 10 rebounds.

“He’s been phenomenal down the stretch in this early season,” Davis said of James. “I think it’s [that] they’re kinda banking minutes early on. And then letting him just kinda flow throughout the fourth quarter.

“He’s making the right plays. He’s getting to the basket. His jumper was working tonight in the mid range, making the right reads to shooters on the perimeter.”

LeBron James passes Karl Malone for most 30-point games since turning 35 in NBA history, with 81

During overtime, the Lakers went up by five points when Reaves stole the ball from Leonard, drove the court, and completed an alley-oop to James for a one-handed dunk with 2:12 left.

““At no point [once] I got that ball did I think I was gonna shoot it. I seen him, and I was gonna pass it the whole way,” Reaves said when asked about the clutch play.

Through five starts this season, James is averaging 24.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, 6.6 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.0 assist per game, while shooting 56.5% from the field and 35.5% from 3-point range.

More importantly, the Lakers ended their 11-game losing streak against the Clippers. It was their first win over the Clips since July 30, 2020, when the Lakers defeated them 103-101 in the NBA bubble during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Plus, it was the Lakers’ first win against the Clippers on their home court at their shared arena since Christmas 2016. The final score of that holiday matchup was 111-102.

LeBron James and the Lakers square off against the Orlando Magic on the road this Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.