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LeBron James got the first official statistic of his NBA career on a rebound. His next entry on the stat sheet was an assist.

Now, the Los Angeles Lakers forward is the leading scorer in NBA history after eclipsing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s career record of 38,387 points, a feat that once had seemed impossible for anyone – but James has become known for making the improbable part of his routine.

He broke the record on a fadeaway two-point shot in the final seconds of the third quarter of Tuesday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. James extended his arms out like he was flying as he jogged back toward the other basket. Then he raised them up and looked up into the stands at the thousands of people who had come to see him make history.

He paused for a second, bent over and rested his hands on his knees and smiled as his family and friends jumped out of their seats in celebration and joined him on the court. He had tears in his eyes.

“I felt like I was sitting on top of the arena tonight,” James said in his postgame news conference. He added, “I can probably count on my hands how many times I’ve cried in 20 years, in happiness or defeat.”

When the moment came, Abdul-Jabbar, in a black jacket bearing his jersey No., 33, came onto the court with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and hugged James, wishing him congratulations. James finished with 38 points, but the Thunder won, 133-130.

– With The Associated Press