On Friday night, LeBron James became the third player in NBA history at least 38 years old to score 47-plus points in a game as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Atlanta Hawks 130-121. James joins Jamal Crawford (39 years, 20 days) and Michael Jordan (38 years, 315 days). The fans celebrated Bron’s 38th birthday before the interconference game.
In addition to recording a season-high 47 points, the four-time MVP finished his career with 10 rebounds, nine assists and one block. He shot 18-of-27 (66.7%) from the floor and 4-of-6 (66.7%) from 3-point range. He recorded his ninth double-double of the season.
According to several NBA betting sites, LeBron James has the 18th-best odds to win the MVP in 2023. A handful of sportsbooks are giving Joel Embiid, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo better odds to win the award.
LeBron James became the 4th player in NBA history to record 38 or more 45-point games.
He joins Michael Jordan (3x), Reeme Abdul-Jabbar and Jamal Crawford. pic.twitter.com/n93kJ8U0OE
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 31, 2022
“When I was 18 years old, I knew how to play the game,” LeBron James said after the victory. “I knew I was going to be in the NBA, but at 18 I didn’t know what I could be. But if I kept putting in the work and putting in the game, I knew I could be one of the greatest players to ever play this game.”
In 28 starts this season, the 18-time All-Star is averaging 28.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.0 steals per game. He is also shooting 50.6% from the field and 30.9% from beyond the arc.
LeBron James joins Michael Jordan and Jamal Crawford as the only players in NBA history to score 47-plus points in a game at least 38 years old.
With the Lakers on the foul line late in the fourth quarter, the crowd chanted, “MVP! MVP!” opened the second half with a 36-28 win over the Los Angeles Hawks.
Crawford also played 20 years in the NBA. On April 9, 2019, Crawford scored a career-high 51 points in 39 minutes in the Phoenix Suns’ 120–109 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
In the year But six-time NBA champion Crawford, Jordan and James were one point shy of combining for a minimum of 47 points. Abdul Jabbar was 38 years and 296 days old.
Most points in a game after turning 38:
51 – Jamal Crawford
51 – Michael Jordan
47 – LeBron James pic.twitter.com/hU3Us1cBWW
— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 31, 2022
Along with recording five boards, five assists, one steal and one block, the three-time Sixth Man of the Year shot 18-of-30 (60%) from the floor and 7-of-13 (53.8%). Downtown was 20 days after this sun keeper celebrated his 39th birthday.
As for Jordan, in the Washington Wizards’ 107-90 win over the Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets) on December 29, 2001, the Hall of Famer had 51 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals in 39 minutes. He shot 21-of-38 (55.3%) from the field. In fact, the 10-time scorer is now 38 years and 315 days old.
LeBron James is still playing at a high level, so he could become the all-time greatest player in NBA history to score 45-plus points in a single game.