James ended the Los Angeles Lakers’ 109-98 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on 35,017 points — 1,911 behind Malone and 3,370 behind fellow Laker legend Abdul-Jabbar.
The Lakers were without Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder in Thursday’s game, which saw the Nets secure their fifth straight victory despite James contributing 32 points and seven assists.
James Harden finished the night with 23 points and 11 assists for the Nets, while Joe Harris scored 21 points.
“For me to be linked with some of the greatest to have played this game is an honor,” James told reporters after the game.
“I’ve always just wanted to go out there and play the game the right way, inspire my teammates, inspire people that watch me and just try to be as good as I can be every single night and not really put a ceiling on my ability or put a ceiling on what I can do.”