LeBron James became the youngest player in NBA history with 20,000 points Wednesday night, and, barring injury, it will be just one of many milestones to come for the Miami Heat superstar widely regarded as the best player in the world.
James authored a gem in leading the Heat’s 92-75 blowout victory over the Golden State Warriors: 25 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in just 30 minutes in securing his latest piece of history.
James’ short jumper with 2:45 left in the second quarter was the history-making play. The previous youngest to score 20,000 points was Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who was 29 years, 122 days old. James was 28 years, 17 days on Wednesday.
“It means everything,” James said. “It means a lot. First of all, like I continue to say, it means I’ve been able to be healthy. To be out on the floor and do what I love to do, I love the game of basketball and I try to give everything to the game. And hopefully it continues to give back to me.”
In the first quarter, James also found Wade for his 5,000th career assist. He is the 13th player with 20,000 points and 5,000 assists.
James eclipsed both marks before halftime and helped Miami go ahead by 34 points in the third quarter. Dwyane Wade added 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists and Mario Chalmers scored 15 for the Heat, who had lost three of their last four road games.
The Warriors, who beat the Heat 97-95 in Miami on Dec. 12, lost consecutive games for only the third time this season. Clearly, James and Co. went into the game focused on making amends for that defeat.
“Disappointing, but we faced a team that remembered what took place in South Beach and came with a mindset to make a point, individually and collectively,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “That’s what great players do.”