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James’ 13th point of the first half, coming on a free throw with 3 minutes, 52 seconds remaining in the second quarter, gave him 396 career points on the holiday, eclipsing Bryant’s 395. James would finish with 39 points for the Lakers in Saturday’s 122-115 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
Nets forward Kevin Durant, who was out for Saturday’s showdown because of the league’s health and safety protocols, is the next closest active player on the list with 299 points, good for fifth place.
James, playing on Christmas for the 15th straight year, came in with his name all over the Christmas Day books. He started the day tied for first in total 3-pointers made and tied for first in total wins. He also ranked second in total assists, second in total games played and second in field goals made; tied for third in total steals; fourth in free throws made; tied for ninth in total blocks; and 10th in total rebounds.
Also, with his second of three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most points scored on a single date in NBA history. Abdul-Jabbar’s 413 points on Dec. 26 was surpassed by James, who finished Christmas Day with 422 points scored on the date.
James would advance one record he already owns on Christmas, as Saturday’s contest marked the 13th time he has scored 20 or more points in a contest on the holiday. Bryant, Durant and Oscar Robertson are tied for second with 10 such games.