LeBron James' achievement has been hailed as "absolutely incredible" by Tiger Woods, who also praised Tom Brady's legendary playing career.

James last week became the all-time points leader in NBA history, with the Los Angeles Lakers star overtaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's long-standing record.

The 38-year-old is a four-time NBA champion, four-time NBA Finals MVP and four-time league MVP.

Ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Genesis Invitational, Woods was asked for his thoughts on James' feat, and suggested Sam Snead and himself would be golf's equivalent to the 19-time NBA All-Star.

"What he accomplished is absolutely incredible," Woods told reporters.

"Just the durability, the consistency and the longevity. I grew up watching Kareem, he was the Cap [Captain], that's all I remember – the showtime Lakers, watching Cap.

"That record, nobody ever thought it would be broken, but also the amount of minutes he's playing, nobody's ever done it at that age and the way he's done it, being able to play all five positions. That's never been done at this level for this long.

"As far as our equivalent to that... I don't know, maybe you look at me and Sam, at 82 [PGA Tour wins each, a joint-record]. It takes a career to get to those numbers, that's probably best how you look at it."

While James is set to play on, a star of another sport – Brady – has retired.

NFL great Brady, who had a short-lived retirement in 2022, called time on his playing days "for good" earlier in February, ending a 23-year career at the highest level.

The quarterback is one of the most successful players of all time, with seven Super Bowl rings to his name, and has the most career wins of any QB.

Aaron Rodgers might also be considering retirement, and Woods is astounded at the pair's longevity, especially when it comes to 45-year-old Brady.

"There was a touch and go whether I'd be back after my back fusion," said Woods when asked about the mindset of the duo when it comes to retirement. 

"I didn't know if I was going to be able to walk again, I came back and had a nice little run. The same again with this leg. I didn't know if I was going to be able to play again and I played three majors last year.

"When you get a little bit older and a little more banged up, you’re not as invincible as you once were – that's just the reality of all of us ageing. Those are contact sports, I don't know how they've played [so long].

"Tom, playing as long as he did and the level he played at, it was phenomenal. We just have to look at him as an outlier, as how great that was.

"I remember as a kid growing up watching John Elway speak and just crying as he said 'I can do it but my body won't allow me to anymore'. He won the last two Super Bowls but he just could not physically do it anymore.

"I've got to that point a few times where you think of [retirement]. My sport, there's no contact, I don't have 300lb guys falling on me. It's just a matter of shooting a low score. We have the ability to pick and choose, play a little bit longer.

"We've seen my hero – Arnold Palmer – play in 50 straight Masters. Fifty straight. I'm not even 50 years old yet! You look at Gary Player, who played in 51 Masters. We're different sports."

Kyrie Irving scored 26 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter but it was not enough as the fast-finishing Dallas Mavericks lost 124-121 to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.

Irving and Luka Doncic (33 points) combined for 69 points for the Mavs, who trailed 100-82 at three-quarter time and rallied from a 26-point deficit.

The Mavs point guard, however, lost the ball to Taurean Prince with an errant pass on the final possession, denying Dallas getting a shot away to tie the game after a disrupted play where he exchanged passes with Doncic.

Irving's 26-point fourth quarter was the highest scoring quarter of his career, finishing the game on 15-of-23 shooting with four-of-nine from beyond the arc, along with five rebounds and six assists.

Doncic had 12 rebounds and six assists with his 33 points, while Christian Wood added 24 points off the bench.

For the triumphant Timberwolves, Anthony Edwards scored a team-high 32 points with five rebounds, while Rudy Gobert had 21 points and 14 rebounds.

The defeat means the Mavs have lost both games Doncic and Irving have played together since the latter's trade from the Brooklyn Nets last week.

Lillard leads long-range Blazers blitz over Lakers

Damien Lillard scored 40 points as the Portland Trail Blazers hit 23 three-pointers in a 127-115 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, who were missing LeBron James for the third straight game with a sore left ankle.

The Blazers' 23 triples were a season-best, while they broke their first-half franchise record with 17 three-pointers. Lillard led the way from range, making eight-of-14 three-point attempts.

Malik Beasley came off the bench to top score for the Lakers with 22 points, including six three-pointers, while Anthony Davis scored 19 points with 20 rebounds and three blocks.

Mitchell stars as Spurs lose 13th straight

Donovan Mitchell scored 41 points with five three-pointers as the Cleveland Cavaliers condemned the San Antonio Spurs to a joint franchise record 13th straight defeat.

The Cavs won 117-109 led by Mitchell with Jarrett Allen adding 17 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, securing their seventh successive victory to improve their record to 38-22.

The loss leaves San Antonio with a 14-44 record, with their run of defeats marking their worst since the 1988-89 season.

The Los Angeles Lakers will be without LeBron James yet again when they take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday.

James, 38, will make it three missed games in a row since breaking the all-time scoring record against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, officially listed out with an ankle injury.

It may be a case of the Lakers trying to give their star an extended rest leading into the All-Star break in the hope he will come out the other side refreshed and ready to attack the home stretch, having averaged over 30 points per game in the 30 games he has played since the beginning of December.

But unfortunately for Los Angeles, they are running out of wiggle room.

With a 26-31 record, the Lakers are 13th out of 15 teams in the Western Conference, and although they sit only four games behind the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers, there are a host of competitive teams in the play-in race with the same goal.

The Lakers are 5-8 in the 13 games James has missed this season, including just two wins from their past eight attempts.

Making matters even more precarious is the fact that fellow star Anthony Davis is also listed as day-to-day, and there has been no confirmation that he will suit up either, although it is likely the Lakers would have ruled him out at the same time as James if they were going to do so.

It will be another chance for the Lakers' new additions to prove their worth, with D'Angelo Russell and Jarred Vanderbilt immediately impressing after arriving in the Russell Westbrook trade, while Malik Beasley could also prove himself to be a valuable shooter off the bench in a team lacking much of a threat from outside.

The Trail Blazers will also be undermanned as their top wing, Jerami Grant, has been ruled out with a concussion.

LeBron James was one of a number of NFL fans upset by a decisive holding call in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LVII, but James Bradberry, the man penalised, accepted it was the right decision.

Bradberry's Philadelphia Eagles agonisingly lost 38-35 to the Kansas City Chiefs in Glendale, Arizona on Sunday.

The Eagles had led by 10 points at half-time, before Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs' rally to tie the game going into the closing stages.

But the prospect of a dramatic finish in keeping with the rest of a thrilling game was taken away by the penalty against Bradberry for holding JuJu Smith-Schuster.

That soft call allowed Mahomes to run down the clock before Harrison Butker came out to kick a game-winning field goal.

The finale upset many watching at home, including NBA great James, who posted on Twitter: "Sorry but I don’t like that call! Not for the Super Bowl man!

"His hand on his back had no effect on his route! This game was too damn good for that call to dictate the outcome at the end. Damn!

"By the way I have no horse in the race. Just my professional opinion."

However, Bradberry was asked about the incident in the locker room afterwards and did not share the frustrations of others.

"It was a holding," the cornerback said. "I tugged his jersey. I was hoping they would let it slide."

LeBron James will miss his second consecutive game with soreness in his left ankle.

James became the NBA's all-time leading points scorer this week, breaking the record against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday.

Yet the 38-year-old sat out Thursday's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks and will not feature on Saturday against the Golden State Warriors.

It marks the 13th missed game this season for James, though it appears to be a primarily precautionary move.

Medical imaging on the affected area has not shown any significant damage other than general wear and tear, according to Lakers coach Darvin Ham.

"We're grateful that things came back clean and good," Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said on a conference call on Saturday.

The Lakers are expected to have newcomers D'Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley and Davon Reed available to face the Warriors.

Mo Bamba, who was also acquired at the deadline, will finish serving his four-game suspension stemming from an altercation in a February 3 game between the Orlando Magic and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

James ranks seventh in the league in scoring (30.2 points per game) and his absence leaves a huge void for Los Angeles, who are 13th in the Western Conference and facing an uphill climb to make the playoffs.

Anthony Davis insisted his reluctance to celebrate LeBron James' NBA scoring record was related to the state of Tuesday's game rather than any issue between the two Los Angeles Lakers superstars.

James broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's long-time record against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but Davis did not look to join his Lakers team-mates in saluting the new scoring king.

Fan footage posted on social media showed Davis sat on the bench, with his view of the court obscured by standing Lakers, as James made his historic fadeaway jumper.

That reaction prompted puzzlement from those on the outside of the organisation, but Davis provided an explanation on Thursday.

As he pointed out, the Lakers trailed the Thunder at the time of James' history-making bucket, which saw the game paused, and LA were unable to rally later in the 133-130 defeat.

Speaking after another home loss against the Milwaukee Bucks, seeing the Lakers fall to 25-31 in 13th place in the West, Davis appeared irked by mention of the topic as he said: "You all know mine and Bron's relationship. It's nothing.

"It's about the game. We're losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder, a game we needed. And I was p***ed off that we were losing. It's that simple.

"It's nothing that has to do with Bron. He knows that.

"Everybody else is outside looking in, it's their opinion. But I was p***ed off that we were losing the game."

LeBron James said it felt "surreal" to see his name up in lights as the NBA all-time record points scorer, revealing the heroes who inspired his journey to the top of basketball.

The 38-year-old addressed the crowd at Crypto.com Arena on Thursday night, telling them how Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant had been long-time inspirations, while hailing his mother Gloria and wife Savannah.

With 38 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, James moved to 38,390 in his regular season career, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's long-standing record of 38,387.

Coming up for 20 years as an NBA player, the former Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat star is in the fifth year of his Lakers stint.

He told of how his journey to the summit of professional sports came against all odds, being founded on his admiration for great men of basketball and the powerful women in his life.

"Growing up in a small town of Akron, Ohio, in an underprivileged single-parent household, only child, you feel like you're never going to make it out," James said.

"You feel like the statistics are built up against you, you feel like the system is built against you to not succeed, you feel like there's no way you're going to have an opportunity for your dreams to become a reality, and I didn't allow those moments to deter me from my dreams.

"I had dreams every day of playing in the NBA, I had dreams every day of being an inspiration to so many people.

"I had dreams of one day being able to throw no-look passes like Magic Johnson, to be able to shoot fadeaways like Michael Jordan, to be able to have a cross-over like Allen Iverson, to be able to have an afro and jump in a dunk contest like Kobe Bryant.

"I looked up to so many athletes and so many people along my journey, and they gave me the inspiration and allowed my dream to not die.

"I always felt it was my job and my responsibility to come out and play the game at a high level and be as great as I can be, because there is a kid in the inner city somewhere that's looking for inspiration and is going to need it and maybe get it from me."

James sat out the Lakers' 115-106 home loss to the high-flying Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night, making his speech before the game.

With his mother and wife with him on the court floor, James said: "As I look up at this jumbotron and seeing the 'NBA all-time leading scorer', it's so surreal to me. But the one thing I know for sure is I never cheated a game of basketball and I would never cheat in a game of basketball because it's given so much to myself, given so much to my family.

"My beautiful wife is the real MVP if you want to be completely honest, she's the all-time leading scorer. My family is everything to me, and you guys [in the Lakers crowd] over the last five years have become family to me as well.

"Every night I step on the floor, I understand I truly have a huge responsibility and understand what it means to represent the Los Angeles Lakers when I step on this floor, so thank you so much."

LeBron James deserves to be acknowledged as one of the NBA's all-time greats, according to Kyrie Irving as he paid tribute to his former team-mate's achievements.

The Los Angeles Lakers veteran overhauled Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time scoring record during a 133-130 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder this week.

Having needed 36 to break the figure, the 38-year-old posted 38 to end the game with 38,390 career points to his name, further underlining his status as one of the sport's giants.

Irving, who was recently traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Dallas Mavericks, played with James at the Cleveland Cavaliers, and was effusive in his admiration for his latest record.

"I just enjoy seeing him celebrate himself, in those moments where a lot of hard work that doesn't necessarily get talked about or seen by others is on full display," he said.

"I got a chance to play three special years with him. It's a celebration to witness history like that, within the game that's so special to all of us.

"We should acknowledge when greatness is in front of us.

"I know we've all [these] superlatives for LeBron. You've got the stans on one side, you've got the real supporters on one side.

"I think it's just great for the game that we can all come together collectively to celebrating somebody and his accomplishments like that."

A four-time NBA champion and four-time MVP pick, James is also a two-time Olympic Gold Medallist after success at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Irving made his Mavericks debut during a 110-104 win against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, scoring a team-high 24 points.

Patrick Mahomes will look to etch his name into the history books again on Sunday with victory in Super Bowl LVII, and he received inspiration ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs' clash with the Philadelphia Eagles from LeBron James' record-breaking exploits.

James scored 38 points for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, that tally seeing him move to 38,390 in his regular-season career and surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's long-standing record of 38,387.

LeBron's history-making feat was a hot topic as the Chiefs spoke to the media on Wednesday, with Mahomes effusive in his praise for the man many consider the greatest basketball player of all time.

"Yeah, I mean, first off, I talk to him every once in a while and try to gain as much advice as possible," Mahomes said at a press conference. 

"But I think you gain inspiration because, I think, you heard him talking about it last night. It wasn't something that he was chasing.

"It wasn't something that he even thought was possible. He just continued to work every single year, every single day. And he got there and he's still at it, playing at a high level. And so, like I said, it's legendary stuff.

"I mean, there's some records that no one thinks will ever be broken. And to see a guy that puts in the work every single day and gets to that milestone who's not even a scorer first, he's one of the greatest scorers of all time and has the most points of all time. But he's not even a scorer.

"He just continues to work and work and try to win championships, and he's able to reach goals that I don't think anyone ever thought were going to be broken."

LeBron James brought the NBA to a standstill on Tuesday. Even the Los Angeles Lakers' game against the Oklahoma City Thunder was paused.

With 38 points at Crypto.com Arena, James moved to 38,390 in his regular season career, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's long-standing record of 38,387.

The four-time champion has been the league's pre-eminent star across stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Miami Heat and the Lakers.

Now, across basketball history, he stands alone.

It is a remarkable achievement and only becomes more impressive when delving into the numbers behind James' new record.

Beating the Thunder

The Thunder may have put a slight dampener on James' big night by winning Tuesday's game, but the 38-year-old actually has more career points than Oklahoma City's entire active roster combined (21,900).

Indeed, the Thunder are merely one of five rosters James can better, along with the Indiana Pacers (36,515), the Orlando Magic (33,164), the San Antonio Spurs (32,364) and the Houston Rockets (28,642).

Had James not got over the line on Tuesday, he would have done instead against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday – and that would have been fitting, too.

James has scored more points against the Bucks (1,751) than against any other team. In fact, the Thunder (994) are the team he has scored the third-fewest against – more only than against the Lakers (829) and the Cavaliers (580), two teams he represented.

The Lakers forward scored at least 1,000 points against each of the other 27 teams, while he has scored 1,000 in each of his 20 NBA seasons. That is another record he has taken from Abdul-Jabbar (19).

James would have no doubt enjoyed being able to achieve this legendary feat in front of a home crowd, but he has actually scored more points on the road (19,251 in 694 games) than at home (19,139 in 716).

Unsurprisingly, however, Cleveland's Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is the arena to have seen the most James points (11,670). The Lakers' Crypto.com Arena (4,649) nudged ahead of the Heat's Miami-Dade Arena (4,613) into second place on Tuesday.

Wade's helping hand

In that home crowd in LA, sitting in front of Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, was Dwyane Wade, a two-time title-winning team-mate of James' on the Heat.

Wade also joined James on the Cavaliers for a season and, although now retired, has assisted more points for the new all-time scoring leader than any other player (776).

Eric Snow (630) is second on that list, with Mario Chalmers (591) third and Mo Williams (501) fourth, followed by Kevin Love (486) and Kyrie Irving (469).

Russell Westbrook has only been playing with James in LA since 2021, but he is ninth on 375. Anthony Davis (269) is 11th and Chris Bosh (267) 12th.

Ricky Davis assisted James' first NBA points and 42 altogether. Davis, who retired in 2010, was the first of 148 different players to assist James.

But the bulk of James' points have been unassisted, of course. His 26,855 unassisted points alone would rank him 13th in the all-time list, ahead of Kevin Durant (26,684), who is second to the Lakers man among active players.

James has scored 10,882 points from layups, 8,074 from two-point jump shots and 8,047 from free throws. Of the rest, 6,711 have come from three-pointers, 4,190 from dunks, 310 from hook shots and 176 from tip-ins.

Another Lakers record

The record was reached with a fadeaway jumper, and several members of Lakers royalty were in the house to see it – including Abdul-Jabbar.

James followed Abdul-Jabbar as the seventh different player to lead the NBA in all-time scoring since the end of the league's first season in 1946-47.

Four of those seven have now represented the Lakers, with James and Abdul-Jabbar joined by George Mikan (1952-53 to 1957-58) and Wilt Chamberlain (1965-66 to 1983-84). Chamberlain took ownership of the record while a Philadelphia 76er, before playing for the Lakers.

Chamberlain succeeded Bob Pettit, one of the remaining three who did not turn out for the Lakers. Joe Fulks, the leading scorer in the NBA's first season, and Dolph Schayes are the others.

Luka Doncic, just 23 and with 8,531 points through 311 career games, is perhaps the most credible challenger to James' crown. James had 8,319 points through 311 games, albeit he was only 22.

Matching James' longevity is a huge ask; either way, he will be number one for a long, long time.

Time spent at the top is a record Abdul-Jabbar can at least retain for now, having ranked first in scoring for a mammoth 14,187 days. The NBA was only 13,671 days old when he took the record, meaning he led the league for more than half of its existence.

Still more to achieve

That is not the only Abdul-Jabbar mark that remains, with the 75-year-old out in front on 57,446 minutes played. James (53,743) is third, while he is tied for ninth in games played (1,410) – a statistic led by Robert Parish (1,611).

Abdul-Jabbar is the man to beat for MVP awards, too, with six, and James' four appear unlikely to be added to now, given his age and the Lakers' woes.

James should pass Abdul-Jabbar for All-Star selections, though, as the pair are tied on 19, while the modern great already has a leading 13 All-NBA First Team selections.

In the playoffs, James already topped the charts for points (7,631) and games played (266), although the 'GOAT' debate will rage on as Michael Jordan has the edge in Finals MVPs (six to James' four).

Among players with 500 or more games, Jordan (30.1) is also the leading man for points per game in the regular season, even if James (27.2 in fifth) is averaging 30.2 this year, the third-highest mark of his career.

At that rate, even if James cannot reel in Jordan, he should be able to establish a considerable buffer to any and all pretenders to his new crown.

United States president Joe Biden has praised LeBron James for "inspiring the nation" after surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time regular season NBA scoring record.

Los Angeles Lakers forward James entered Tuesday's game with the Oklahoma City Thunder needing 36 points to break Abdul-Jabbar's record, which had stood for 39 years.

The four-time MVP moved past Abdul-Jabbar's 38,387 career points to go outright number one with a 14-foot fadeaway jumper late in the third quarter at Crypto.com Arena.

James' game-high 38 points on 13-of-20 shooting with three steals were not enough to prevent the Lakers from losing 133-130 to the visiting Thunder.

But it was job done on an individual level as he strengthened his case as being the greatest basketball player of all time – a debate that will rumble on for some time.

A number of sports stars and wider global figures have paid tribute to James, who now has 38,390 career points to go with the four NBA titles won with three different teams.

"LeBron, congratulations. With your whole heart and soul you broke a hell of a record. You elevated the game," US president Biden said in a video message. 

"More than that, like Kareem, Bill Russell and others who came before you, you challenged and inspired the nation to be better, do better and live up to our full promise."

James rose with both arms in celebration after making history and posed for photos with 75-year-old Abdul-Jabbar, who was in attendance in Los Angeles.

Fellow Lakers great Magic Johnson said: "I never thought that Kareem's scoring record would be broken by anybody. 

"It means more to myself and to our fans because you're wearing that purple and gold and broke it as a Laker. 

"This historic moment is so special because we will never see another LeBron James."

James has 7,314 points across five seasons with the Lakers, having previously scored 23,119 in 859 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers and 7,919 in 294 for the Miami Heat.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver added: "It's a towering achievement that speaks to his sustained excellence over 20 seasons in the league. 

"And quite amazingly, LeBron continues to play at an elite level and his basketball history is still being written."

James is averaging 30.2 points per game this season, which is the seventh-best record in the division, narrowly ahead of Kevin Durant (29.7) and Stephen Curry (29.4).

Golden State Warriors guard Curry and Brooklyn Nets forward Durant also congratulated James on his remarkable achievement.

"Your sustained level of play for 20 years, reaching this pinnacle of scoring in basketball, it is unbelievable," Curry said. 

"Way down the road, when we're reflecting back on our careers, we'll be able to be at that level knowing what it was like to battle at the highest level."

Durant added: "It's even funny to just even say that, coming from where you have come from, how hard you grinded for this long. 

"It's been an inspiration since day one. Much love and keep setting the bar high."

LeBron James' off-court legacy is even more impressive than becoming the NBA's all-time leading regular season points scorer, suggests Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

James broke Abdul-Jabbar's record on Tuesday in the Los Angeles Lakers' 133-130 defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder, with a fadeaway jump shot late in the third quarter seeing him pass the 38,387 points Abdul-Jabbar racked up with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Lakers before retiring in 1989.

James is also the fourth-highest assist maker in league history and has also won four NBA Championships, yet Abdul-Jabbar believes it is what the 38-year-old has done off the court that makes him so special.

The LeBron James Family Foundation set up a school in his hometown of Akron in Ohio, while also providing rent-free housing for up to 16 families for those in need.

James has also been active in his support of non-profit organisations and vocal on global issues, including the Black Lives Matter movement.

Abdul-Jabbar lauded James for his off-field activities, telling the TNT post-game crew: "What LeBron has done off the court is more important than what he has done on the court.

"He has sent kids to school. He has provided leadership and an example of how to live.

"I was very impressed with his family. His mum, I met her a couple of years ago when they played a couple playoff games in Cleveland. 

"LeBron came out and introduced me to his mum, so he really has the right values. Family, hard work, and all those things lead to success."

On the court, Abdul-Jabbar pointed to James' longevity and his leadership as the keys to his success, adding: "LeBron's career is one of someone who planned to dominate this game. 

"He got out of high school, he had the size and the talent to step right into the NBA, and he immediately started to have his effect.

"It's been going for almost 20 years now, so you've got to give him credit for the way he planned to last, and to dominate.

"He led teams to three world championships, and they didn't get there because of someone else and LeBron tagged along, LeBron led them. He has that indefinable essence that they call leadership.

"When he gets out there on the court and tries to get things done, guys want to get behind him and see that it happens, because they have that much respect for him and his talent."

LeBron James was the biggest story in sports on Tuesday as he became the NBA's all-time scoring leader, but the Oklahoma City Thunder got the last laugh.

James reached the legendary record late in the third quarter, with a turnaround jump shot from the free throw line bringing up his 36th point of the game, and his 38,388th regular season point overall to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 39-year-old record.

But it was the Thunder leading 104-99 at the time of the basket, and it would be the Thunder coming away with the 133-130 victory.

Oklahoma City were led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who remains one of seven players this season averaging at least 30 points per game (30.8) after scoring an even 30 on nine-of-17 shooting, adding eight assists and two steals.

Rookie wing Jalen Williams was terrific with 25 points (10-of-19 shooting), seven rebounds and six steals, while point guard Josh Giddey added 20 points (10-of-19), six assists and five rebounds.

James ended up scoring a game-high 38 points on 13-of-20 shooting with seven rebounds and three steals, while Russell Westbrook put together one of his better performances this season with 27 points (10-of-19), eight assists and two steals.

With the win, the Thunder improved their record to 26-28 to sit 11th in the Western Conference, although things are so tightly bunched that they are only 2.5 games back from the six seed. 

The Lakers fell to 25-30, and are four games back from the Dallas Mavericks in the six seed.

Thomas makes history as Booker returns for Phoenix

Brooklyn Nets rising star Cam Thomas became the youngest player to ever score 40 points in three consecutive games, but Devin Booker's return lifted the Phoenix Suns to a 116-112 win.

After scoring a career-high 44 points against the Washington Wizards on Saturday, and then following it with another career-high of 47 against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, Thomas dropped 43 against the Suns.

He shot 11-of-23 from the field – his worst shooting performance in this three-game run – but boosted his tally by going 18-of-20 from the free throw line.

But the return of Devin Booker after 21 games and six weeks on the sideline provided a jolt in the arm for the Suns, contributing 19 points on six-of-15 shooting with six assists in 26 minutes, while Deandre Ayton dominated the action with 35 points (14-of-18) and 15 rebounds.

Another Jokic masterclass blows away the Timberwolves

Reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic showed exactly why he is the favourite to make it a three-peat with a dominant performance in the Denver Nuggets' 146-112 blowout of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Jokic had 17 points on eight-of-10 shooting with 10 rebounds and 10 assists by half-time, and he did not attempt a field goal in the second half, finishing with 20 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds.

He has a chance to become the first center in NBA history to average a triple-double if he can maintain his current figures of 24.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 10.2 assists, while Michael Porter Jr carried the scoring load against Minnesota, pouring in 30 on 11-of-15 shooting.

LeBron James admitted after breaking the all-time regular season scoring record on Tuesday that he feels he is the greatest player in NBA history.

James needed 36 points to break the record against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he reached that figure in the final seconds of the third quarter, drilling a free throw line fadeaway to eclipse Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's mark of 38,387.

The Lakers ultimately went down 133-130 to the visiting Thunder, although it was no fault of James, who scored a game-high 38 points on 13-of-20 shooting with three steals, and the Lakers were plus eight in his 34 minutes of action.

After the contest, James was asked a couple of questions from fellow legendary Laker Shaquille O'Neal, with the last being about who he feels is the greatest player in the history of the league.

"I'm gonna let everybody else decide who that is, or talk about it, but it's great barbershop talk," James said, before O'Neal cut him off and demanded a straight answer.

"Me personally, I'm going to take myself against anybody who has ever played this game," he said. 

"But everyone is going to have their favourite, and everyone is going to decide who their favourite is, but I know what I've brought to the table, I know what I bring to the table every single night, and what I can do out on this floor.

"I always feel like I'm the best to ever play this game, but there's so many other great ones that I'm happy to just be a part of their journey."

O'Neal also asked if James believes he can go on and continue to add to the record for years to come, and interestingly, James left the door open to perhaps playing for a different franchise before he hangs up his boots.

"For sure, I know I can play a couple more years," he said. "The way I'm feeling, the way my body has been reacting to me through the course of this season, I know I can play a couple more years.

"It's all about my mind. If my mind is still into it, if I'm still motivated to go out and try to compete for championships, because I feel like that's what I can still do.

"For any group of guys, for any franchise, I can go out there and still help win multiple championships, or win a championship.

"That's my mindset, but it's all about the mind. If my mind is sharp, and I feel motivated to go out and prepare myself every single day, then I can continue to play this game."

LeBron James gave an emotional speech after surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time regular season scoring record on Tuesday, thanking those who helped him along the way.

James came into the contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder trailing by 35 points, and he needed only three quarters to get there, nailing a fadeaway jump shot late in the third period to bring up 36 points on 12-of-18 shooting.

That basket gave him his 38,388th regular season point, while he is already 1,644 points clear of Michael Jordan for the most points in playoff history.

During a lengthy delay after James broke the record, where Abdul-Jabbar came onto the court for a symbolic passing of the torch, James reflected on the journey to this moment.

"I just want to say thank you to the Lakers faithful, you guys are one-of-a-kind," he said.

"To be able to be in the presence of such a legend as great as Kareem means so much to me, it's very humbling – please give a standing ovation to 'The Captain' please.

"To my beautiful wife, my daughter, my two boys, my friends, my boys, my family, my mother – man, everyone who has ever been a part of this run with me the past 20 years.

"I just want to say I thank you so much, because I wouldn't be me without y'all. All y'all help, all y'all passion, all y'all sacrifices helped me get to this point. 

"To the NBA, to Adam Silver, to the late great David Stern, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of something I've always dreamed about. 

"I would have never, ever, in a million years have dreamt this even better than it is tonight… thank you guys."

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