LeBron James’ historic performance creates a memorable moment for Lakers fans

Each time LeBron James touched the ball, fans raised their arms and rose to their feet. The Lakers faithful wasn’t here to just cheer for a victory.

Lakers fans eagerly awaited a chance to witness history, calculating James’ points for months, closely following his schedule, and spending thousands of dollars for a chance to see him break the NBA’s all-time scoring record. On Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena, their investments paid off as LeBron delivered a spectacular performance, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record with a fadeaway jumper in the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder with only 10.9 seconds left on the clock.

James finished with 38 points — and 38,390 in his career — in the Lakers’ 133-130 loss.

Needing 36 points to pass Abdul-Jabbar’s mark of 38,387 points, James knocked down the record-setting basket and held his arms wide as he jogged down the court. He extended his arms to the rafters, then doubled over, putting his hands on his knees and bowing his head. As he walked toward center court, James pointed to the baseline next to the Lakers bench where Abdul-Jabbar was sitting.

The anxiety of fans who had spent thousands of dollars to witness the breaking of the most prestigious NBA record was palpable every time James approached the scoring table or dribbled up the court.

Those seated near the top of the arena erupted in cheers when they thought James’ first shot had gone in, only to sheepishly sink back into their seats when they realized it was actually a put-back by Anthony Davis. And when referees disallowed another potential basket by James due to a foul call, the fans expressed their disappointment with boos.

But James slowly won him over, especially when he came to the Lakers and helped the franchise win its 17th title.

“The same thing he did coming into the league is the same thing he’s still doing in Year 20,” Hill said. “So I just think a lot of people can resonate with how he carried himself. He’s the epitome of what winning looks like. … He’s won in all areas: fatherhood, family, other businesses and basketball.”

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