WASHINGTON • After becoming the youngest player in National Basketball Association (NBA) history to surpass 25,000 career points on Monday, LeBron James sat in the locker room at the Wells Fargo Center with his feet in an ice bucket, an ice bag on each knee and another ice bag on his back.
No matter the aches and pains for the Cleveland Cavaliers forward, the 13-year veteran makes basketball look easy.
Needing 21 points against the Philadelphia 76ers to reach the milestone, he scored 22 while collecting 11 assists and nine rebounds in Cleveland's 107-100 victory.
He surpassed the mark when he slammed home a lob from reserve guard Matthew Dellavedova with 8min 7sec remaining, and left the game for good shortly after that.
At 30 years and 307 days old, James surpassed Kobe Bryant (31 years, 351 days old) as the youngest basketballer to achieve the milestone.
LeBron James is only the 20th NBA player to cross 25,000 points.
He is also the 20th player in NBA history to reach the 25,000 career-points mark. Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are the only active players to have reached the plateau.
"For me, winning basketball games and then reaching milestones individually is a pretty cool thing," James said.
"Obviously the team aspect comes first, but any time along that line you're able to reach a milestone, it's very humbling."
Cavaliers coach David Blatt called James' feat an "extremely important, extremely impressive" mark.
"To be the youngest player in the history of the game to score 25,000 points - particularly when he is every bit the unselfish passer as he is a scorer - is just a testament to his greatness," he said.
The Philadelphia fans accorded James with a standing ovation during a timeout with 7:45 left, when an announcement was made about his achievement.
"Obviously, they're Sixer fans to death, but they know and they respect the game of basketball," James added. "To get a standing ovation reaching that milestone, it was very special."
Guard Mo Williams added 21 points as the Cavaliers won their third straight game to improve to a 3-1 win-loss record for the young season.
Forward Kevin Love had 15 points and eight rebounds for Cleveland, who trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half but outscored Philadelphia 25-4 in a one stretch bridging the second and third quarters.
Rookie centre Jahlil Okafor scored 24 points to lead Philadelphia who, despite his exploits, fell to 0-3.
The 76ers led by as many as 15 in the second quarter, when Okafor scored eight of his 14 first-half points with an electric display that included posting up to score over Love and dribbling past Timofey Mozgov to nail a jump shot.
James scored three points and assisted on two more buckets in a 10-2 Cavs run that cut the Sixers' lead to 54-49.
The Cavaliers scored the first nine points of the second half to take the lead for good.
"We got jumped by a great team in the third period," 76ers coach Brett Brown said.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE