LeBron James is clear of another NBA legend on his ascent up the NBA's all-time scoring list.
The Cavaliers forward passed Shaquille O'Neal with his28,599th career point duringThursday's 99-93 loss to the Bulls, good for seventh-most in history.
James, whoentered the night needing 23 points to tie O’Neal (25,596), secured the milestone midway through the fourth quarter by sinking a free throw. He finished with 26 points in the loss, Cleveland's third straight and fifth in seven games as its grip on the Eastern Conference loosens considerably.
At 32, Jamesis far from finished leapfrogging the NBA's leading scorers.
Dirk Nowitzki, who surpassed 30,000 points earlier this season,is next on the list with30,181and counting. Wilt Chamberlain is fifth all timewith 31,419 points.
So far this season, Jameshas already passed: Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, Hakeem Olajuwon,Oscar Robertson and O'Neal.
If Shaq had shot LeBron's career rate of 74.0% on free throws, he would have had 2,391 more career points. https://t.co/uhoynsFK6K
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 31, 2017
The personalachievement likely is little consolation for James, whose Cavaliersare 6-10 in March.
A James-led team hasn't lost 10 or more games in a calendarmonth since November 2003, when the Cavs went 4-11 in James' rookie season.
With the loss, Cleveland relinquishedfirst place in the conference to the idle Celtics, who hold a half-game lead with two weeks remaining in the season.