LeBron James passed up another legend and the Los Angeles Lakers continued to roll on Wednesday night. James nearly finished with a triple-double, scoring 44 points to go along with 10 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 blocks to lead the Lakers to their fourth straight win, a 126-117 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
In doing so, James surpassed Lakers legend Wilt Chamberlain to move into fifth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Needing 39 points to surpass Chamberlain, it was no guarantee James would do so against the Trail Blazers. After all, his season high was 35 points in an overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
But James took over in the second quarter and never let up. The exact moment occurred in the fourth quarter with a beautiful layup and foul to tie Chamberlain. The ensuing free throw officially pushed him past The Big Dipper.
While much of the attention will rightfully go to James, he had plenty of help on this night as the Lakers shot 46.9 percent (15-of-32) from three-point range and 88.5 percent (23-for-26) from the free throw line as a team.
Brandon Ingram had a bit of a bounce-back game with 17 points and 4 assists while JaVale McGee finished with 20 points, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope chipped in a much-needed 13 points off the bench, knocking down three shots from deep.
Lonzo Ball also had an excellent game with 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assist while hitting 3-of-5 shots from deep. Now the pressure will be turned up on Ball even more moving forward after the announcement of Rajon Rondo suffering a broken hand in the contest.
Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum led the way for Portland as usual. Lillard finished with 31 points and 11 assists, but shot just 8-for-23 from the field. Likewise, McCollum also shot under 50 percent from the field in finishing with 23 points. Jusuf Nurkic had a double-double for the Blazers with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
Next up for the Lakers is a three-game road trip that tips off on Saturday in Orlando against a surprisingly solid Magic team.