WASHINGTON (AFP) - Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James soared to another National Basketball Association (NBA) milestone late on Monday, jamming home a dunk against the 76ers in Philadelphia to become the youngest player to score 25,000 points.
The 30-year-old James came into the contest needing 21 points to reach 25,000. He got there in style, taking his tally for the night to 22 with an alley-oop dunk that he stuffed through the hoop with 8min 6sec to play in the Cavaliers' 107-100 win over the 76ers.
James scored 22 points - that's 25,001 for his career - with 11 assists and nine rebounds and received a standing ovation from the Philly crowd when his achievement was acknowledged during an ensuing timeout.
"Obviously, they're Sixer fans to death, but they know and they respect the game of basketball," James said. "To get a standing ovation reaching that milestone, it was very special."
Cavaliers coach David Blatt called it an "extremely important, extremely impressive" mark. "To be the youngest player in the history of the game to score 25,000 points - particularly when you're every bit the passer that you are the scorer - is just a testament to his greatness," he said.
James became the 20th player in NBA history to record 25,000 career points. Kobe Bryant was the prior fastest player to the plateau, reaching it in 2010 at the age of 31. Among active players, the Mavericks' German star Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnet and Paul Pierce are the only others to have reached the plateau.
"For me, winning basketball games and then reaching milestones individually is a pretty cool thing, but obviously the team aspect comes first," James said before the game. "But any time along that line you're able to reach a milestone, it's very humbling."
Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs' evergreen forward Tim Duncan also notched another personal milestone, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the Spurs' 94-84 victory over the New York Knicks that gave Duncan 954 career wins - the most for any player with one NBA team.
Duncan also notched the 831st double-double of his career. He's fifth on the all-time list in that category behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recorded 885 career double-doubles.
In Houston, James Harden rediscovered his shooting stroke, scoring 37 points to lead the Houston Rockets to their first victory of the season - 110-105 over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Ty Lawson had his best game since joining the Rockets, adding 14 points with 11 assists and four steals to help last season's Western Conference finalists rally from a 15-point deficit for the victory after three straight defeats to open the season.