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LeBron James Joins Michael Jordan for 40-Point Record at Age 39

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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James joined Michael Jordan as the only NBA players with multiple games of 40 points or more after turning 39, in Sunday’s 116-104 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

James has done so twice now at age 39 in his 21st season. Jordan, who played until he was 40, did it three times. The 20-time All-Star matched his season high with 40 points and tied his career high with nine 3-pointers.

He also passed Jordan for the most 30-point games in league history. The four-time NBA champ now has 672 such games, whereas His Airness finished with 671. Wilt Chamberlain is third with 557.

According to a few NBA betting sites, the Lakers hold ninth-shortest odds to make the Western Conference playoffs. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns.

“I don’t ever have to lean on [3-pointers] because I can do so much — I can score on any level on the floor basically once I cross half court,” said James, who scored 17 points in the fourth quarter on 5-of-6 shooting (4-of-4 from 3).

“But being able to have a growth mindset and be able to work on things that the league is changing to, the league is a heavy 3-point shooting league.

“I’m not one of those guys that wants to go out there and shoot 12, 14, or 15 3s per game. But I want to be respected, and teams have to play me from the outside. That’s still kind of one thing teams [think] … ‘If we have to give up something, we’d much rather him shoot the ball from the outside.’”

LeBron James tied his career high with nine 3-pointers, shooting a career-best 41.6% from deep

In his 1,485th career game, James also logged seven rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes of action. The four-time MVP finished 13-of-17 (76.5%) shooting from the field and 9-of-10 (90%) from 3-point range.

James also made nine 3-pointers on Jan. 24, 2023, against the Los Angeles Clippers, shooting 9-for-14 (64.3%). His 90% accuracy was the second best of his career in games in which he made at least five 3-pointers, per Elias Sports. He made all five of his 3-point attempts at Oklahoma City on Dec. 23 this season.

“It’s incredible,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said about the ageless wonder. “I told him in the huddle before his last little stretch and we ultimately subbed him out [that I was] just extremely thankful that he packed the cape on the road trip. Needed all nine of those 3s.”

Lakers fans and Nets fans at Barclays Center gave James a standing ovation as he checked out in the final frame.

Although LeBron James can still register triple-doubles and 40-point outings, there is still one question on everyone’s mind at this point of his 21-year career: How much longer does he plan to play?

“Not very long,” James said. “Not very long. I’m on the other side, obviously, of the hill. So, I’m not going to play another 21 years, that’s for damn sure. But not very long. I don’t know what or when that door will close as far as when I retire, but I don’t have much time left.”

Through 65 games (all starts) this season, James is averaging 25.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 8.1 assists, 1.2 steals, and 35.2 minutes while shooting 53.3% from the field and a career-best 41.6% from deep.

The Lakers visit the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.



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