Lakers’ LeBron James becomes third-oldest player to score 40 points behind Michael Jordan, Karl Malone

There were so many storylines from the Golden State Warriors’ win over the Los Angeles Lakers that it’s hard to know where to start. In that case, it’s safe to lead with another history-making performance by LeBron James, who became the third-oldest player in league history to score 40 points.

After Anthony Davis left the game for good in the first quarter with a corneal abrasion, James had to put the team on his back in a crucial Western Conference matchup. From there, James did everything he could from a scoring perspective. He finished with a season-high-tying 40 points on 15-of-23 shooting from the field, and added eight rebounds and nine assists for good measure in nearly 38 minutes of action.

That wasn’t enough for the Lakers, who trailed for the entire second half because they couldn’t get enough stops. It was, however, enough for James to put his name in the record books for the umpteenth time. Now 39 years and 77 days old, the only players who have recorded a 40-point game or better at an older age than James are Michael Jordan and Karl Malone.

Jordan, to little surprise, has the three oldest 40 point games, all of which came during his final season with the Washington Wizards. Coincidentally, Malone’s 40-point game, which checks in at fourth on the list, also came that season.

Now, two decades later, James is in that club. Based on how he’s still performing, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the league’s all-time leading scorer eventually tops this list as well. The only question, really, is if he’ll want to do so. He could get 40 points just about any night, but that has never been his style.

But on nights like Saturday, James will do whatever it takes to lead his team when the moment arises. Sometimes, that means making more history in the process.

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