LeBron passes Jordan to become all-time NBA playoff scoring leader
LeBron James is officially the most prolific postseason scorer in NBA history.
A 3-pointer in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night gave James 29 points in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final, and 5,989 playoff points for his career. That vaulted him past Michael Jordan and into sole possession of first place on the all-time leaderboard.
James seemed to recognize the significance of the bucket, raising a single finger to the sky after drilling the record-breaking triple.
The transcendent Cleveland Cavaliers superstar, who jumped four places this year to seventh all time in regular-season points, continues to set the league ablaze in his 14th season. He came into Thursday's game averaging 32.3 points per game this postseason - the second-best mark of his career - and having already climbed past Kobe Bryant and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the playoff scoring ladder.
He finished the game - a dominant victory that sent him to his seventh straight Finals - with 35 points on 13-of-18 shooting to bring his career total to 5,995.
James established the new scoring record in his 212th playoff game, which ranks ninth all time. Jordan, whose previous record came in 179 games, still ranks first in playoff points per game with 33.4, while James ranks fifth at 28.3.
James has called surpassing Jordan in all aspects "a personal goal," which he holds mostly for the sake of continued motivation. It makes sense. There are increasingly fewer (if any) legacies remaining for him to pursue.
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