The Los Angeles Lakers made it eight wins in a row Tuesday night as they ripped the Atlanta Hawks 101-87 to remain unbeaten since the All-Star break. But more notably, star guard Kobe Bryant passed Moses Malone for sixth on the NBA’s career scoring list.
Bryant entered the game needing just 12 points to tie Malone and finished the night with 26. He passed the former 76ers great after he was fouled shooting a 3-pointer and knocked down all three of the subsequent free throws.
Oddly enough, Malone’s old 76ers teammate Julius Erving was on hand to watch Tuesday night’s game. Erving makes his home in Atlanta.
This season Bryant has jumped from No. 12 to No. 6 on the all-time scoring list, breezing past a few legends on the way. Kobe has passed John Havlicek, Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Elvin Hayes and Malone during the 2010-11 campaign.
Earlier in the year we predicted that huge jump after Bryant became the youngest player to ever top 26,000 points.
Next up will be Bryant’s former teammate, Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq currently sits at No. 5 with 28,590 points as of Tuesday and is the only active player with more points than Bryant.
After Tuesday night’s game Bryant’s total now stands at 27,423, which means he would be scheduled to pass O’Neal by sometime late next season.
As he has all year, Bryant shrugged off any talk of career milestones, saying “I’m just very fortunate, that’s all.”