Top 25 NBA All-Time Scoring List

As LeBron James aces an unprecedented feat of 40,000 NBA points, here are the 25 top scorers in league history who rewrote the record books.


Top 25 NBA All-Time Scoring List

Players with most points in NBA history (Image via FS)

Over the years, the NBA has seen all types of scorers hooping the ball down the basket and winning points for their teams. Some of the all-time greats have amassed some really massive scoring tally and today we take a look at the highest scoring players in league history.

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Numerous athletes have graced the hardwood over the years and left a lasting impression on the fans. From Kareem-Abdul Jabbar to Karl Malone, from Kobe Bryant to Michael Jordan, NBA superstars have scored some really fantastic number of points throughout their careers.

Standing atop everyone else in terms of NBA points scored is the modern-day NBA GOAT LeBron James. As King James has just crossed the 40,000-point career milestone, today we explore the top 25 NBA players with the most points scored throughout their careers.

Top 25 NBA points scorers

From active players including Kevin Durant and James Harden who are making their way rapidly up the NBA all-time scoring list, to legends of the sport like Michael Jordan and Dirk Nowitzki, here is the updated list of 25 top scorers in NBA history.

25. Russell Westbrook

Now playing for the Los Angeles Clippers, Russell Westbrook has been one of the most sensational players in the NBA when he is in top form. Known for his explosive scoring, Westbrook attacks the basket relentlessly.

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The point guard’s signature move is his lightning-fast drives to the rim, where he finishes with thunderous dunks or crafty layups, racking up points every game. To date, Russell Westbrook has scored 25,084 points in the NBA, slowly making his way up the all-time list.

Russell Westbrook one of the top scorers in the NBA all-time scoring list
Russell Westbrook (via CBS)

In addition to scoring, Westbrook is a skilled playmaker, dishing out assists with precision. His court vision and passing ability make him a dual threat on offense and Mr. Triple double continues to amze his fans with his on-court displays.

24. Jerry West

Jerry West is a former professional basketball player who played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1960 to 1974 and has many records. He is considered one of the greatest players in NBA and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.

In his 14-year career, West scored a record total of 25,192 points, placing him 24th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Hi iconic number 44 has been long retired by the Lakers in honor of the player.

Jerry West
Jerry West (via NBA)

West’s playing style was defined by his smooth dribbling and precise footwork, enabling him to create scoring opportunities effortlessly. He possessed an exceptional mid-range jumper, often draining shots from various angles. West’s ability to score under pressure made him a clutch player in crucial moments.

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23. Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller is a former shooting guard who spent 18 seasons in the NBA, all with the Indiana Pacers. He scored 25,279 points in his career, putting him in the 23rd place on the record of highest points scorers in NBA.

Known for his sharpshooting ability, Miller was a formidable scorer on the court. He possessed a silky-smooth shooting stroke, sinking three-pointers with deadly accuracy.

Reggie Miller
Reggie Miller (via NBA)

He excelled at coming off screens and spotting up beyond the arc, making him a constant threat from long range. Miller’s shooting range stretched defenses, forcing them to extend beyond the three-point line to guard him.

22. James Harden

Needless to say, James Harden has been one of the most prolific scorers in the modern NBA. Currently playing for the LA Clippers, Harden seems to have regained his form and has 25,577 points to his name at the time of writing.

James Harden’s signature step-back three-pointer is virtually unstoppable, creating separation from defenders and draining shots with precision. His exceptional ball-handling allows him to break down defenses and drive to the rim with ease, where he finishes with finesse or draws fouls.

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James Harden in action for the Clippers
James Harden in action for the Clippers (via Imago)

In addition to his scoring, Harden is a gifted playmaker, utilizing his court vision to set up his teammates for easy buckets. His ability to read defenses and make pinpoint passes has been an asset for all the teams he has played with so far.

21. Alex English

Alex English is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the NBA from 1976 to 1991. He is best known for his time with the Denver Nuggets where he played from 1980 to 1990.

Alex English one of the top scorers in the NBA all-time scoring list
Alex English (via Grass and Court)

He had a knack for finding openings in the defense and exploiting them with his impeccable shooting touch. English’s mid-range game was particularly lethal, as he could knock down shots from various spots on the floor with consistency.

During his career, he scored a record total of 25,613 points, which ranks him 21st on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

20. Vince Carter

Vince Carter is a former shooting guard who spent 22 seasons in the NBA, playing for the Toronto Raptors, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, and Atlanta Hawks.

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He scored a record 25,728 points throughout his career, putting him in the 20th place on the list of highest points scorers in the NBA.

Vince Carter
Vince Carter (via BFrames)

Vince Carter was a prolific scorer both inside and outside the paint, capable of driving to the rim with authority or pulling up for mid-range jumpers. Carter’s leaping ability allowed him to soar above defenders for highlight-reel dunks while also adding to his tally of points.

19. Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett is a former power forward who spent 21 seasons in the NBA, playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Boston Celtics, and Brooklyn Nets. Garnett is one of the most versatile players in NBA, known for his ability to contribute to all aspects of the game.

He had a knack for scoring in the paint, using his length and footwork to outmaneuver defenders and finish around the rim with authority. Garnett’s mid-range jump shot was also a potent weapon, as he could knock down shots with consistency from various spots on the floor.

Kevin Garnett one of the top scorers in the NBA all-time scoring list
Kevin Garnett (via FromTheBend)

Throughout his career, he scored 26,071 points, putting him in 19th place on this list. But Garnett’s intensity and competitiveness were evident on defense as well, where he anchored the paint with his shot-blocking ability and disrupted opposing offenses with his defensive rotations and steals.

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18. John Havlicek

John Havlicek was a shooting guard for the Boston Celtics for 16 seasons and was a key contributor to their eight championship victories. He scored 26,395 points in his career, putting him in 18th place in the list of highest points scorers in the NBA.

He excelled in transition, using his speed and agility to outrun defenders and score easy baskets on the fast break. Havlicek’s ability to finish in traffic and absorb contact made him a reliable scorer in clutch situations.

John Havlicek
John Havlicek (via SL Vault)

John Havlicek’s defensive prowess was equally impressive, as he used his quick hands and anticipation to disrupt passing lanes and generate steals. Havlicek’s playing style was defined by his relentless energy and determination, earning him the nickname “Hondo.”

17. Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce is a former small forward who spent 19 seasons in the NBA, playing for the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, and Los Angeles Clippers. He scored 26,397 points in his career, putting him in the 17th place on the list of highest points scorers in the NBA.

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce (via Grass and Court)

Pierce’s competitiveness and clutch performances made him a fan favorite and a respected leader on the court. He thrived in pressure situations, often delivering game-winning shots and leading his team to victory which earned him the nickname “The Truth.”

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Defensively, Paul Pierce was known for his toughness and physicality, using his strength to body up opponents and contest shots. His defensive versatility allowed him to guard multiple positions effectively.

16. Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan is considered one of the all-time best forwards in NBA history. He finished his career with 26,496 points, which places him 16th on our list.

Duncan played in the NBA for 19 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, winning five championships, two MVP honors, and being named to 15 All-Star teams.

Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan (via AP)

Duncan excelled in the low post, using his size and footwork to establish position and score over defenders with ease. Duncan’s patented bank shot became one of the most reliable weapons in his offensive arsenal, as he could consistently knock down shots from various angles.

15. Dominique Wilkins

Dominique Wilkins is a retired professional basketball player who spent most of his career playing for the Atlanta Hawks. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest dunkers in NBA and was known for his explosive athleticism and powerful dunks.

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Dominique Wilkins
Dominique Wilkins (via NBA)

He utilized an array of moves, including high-flying dunks, acrobatic layups, and mid-range jumpers, to put points on the board. Wilkins’ playing style was defined by his relentless attacking mentality and aerial displays, earning him the nickname “The Human Highlight Film.”

Wilkins scored 26,668 points in his career, putting him in 15th place on the list of highest points scorers in NBA.

14. Oscar Robertson

Oscar Robertson is a former point guard who spent 14 seasons in the NBA, playing for the Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings) and the Milwaukee Bucks. Robertson scored 26,710 points in his career, putting him 14th on the list of highest points scorers in the NBA.

Oscar Robertson one of the top scorers in the NBA all-time scoring list
Oscar Robertson (via BFrames Vault)

Robertson’s rebounding prowess was equally impressive, as he used his size and positioning to haul in boards on both ends of the court.

He was also a skilled passer, finishing with 9,887 career assists, which is still the eighth-highest total in NBA. His impact on the game and his impressive career statistics have cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players in the NBA.

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13. Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon is another notable name in the history of the NBA, considered to be one of the greatest centers ever to play the game. On the list of NBA history’s top scorers, his career total of 26,946 points placed him in 11th.

Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem Olajuwon (via Imago)

He utilized an array of offensive skills, including hook shots, fadeaways, and turnaround jumpers, to outmaneuver defenders and score with ease. Olajuwon’s playing style was characterized by his elegance and finesse, earning him the nickname “The Dream.”

Olajuwon played in the NBA for 18 seasons, the entire time with the Houston Rockets. He was an All-Star 12 times and a two-time MVP.

12. Elvin Hayes

Elvin Hayes is a former power forward who spent 16 seasons in the NBA, playing for teams such as the San Diego Rockets, the Bullets (now the Washington Wizards), and the Houston Rockets.

He excelled in the low post, using his size and footwork to establish position and score over defenders with ease. Hayes’ turnaround jump shot became one of the most potent weapons in his offensive arsenal, as he could consistently knock down shots from various spots on the floor.

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Elvin Hayes
Elvin Hayes (via NBA)

Hayes scored 27,313 points in his career, putting him 10th on the list of highest points scorers in the history of the NBA.

11. Moses Malone

Throughout his 19-year NBA career, Moses Malone was a formidable force in the paint. He finished his career with 27,409 points, placing him tenth in the scoring list of the NBA.

Malone had stints with the Buffalo Braves, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Bullets, and Atlanta Hawks, among other teams.

Moses Malone
Moses Malone (via AP)

He excelled in the low post, using his size and physicality to establish position and score over defenders with authority. Malone’s ability to grab offensive rebounds and convert second-chance opportunities made him a constant scoring threat which saw him tally a fantastic number of career points.

10. Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony is a former small forward who had spent 19 seasons in the NBA, playing for teams such as the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, and Portland Trail Blazers.

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He has been a 10-time NBA All-Star and was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 2013. Anthony scored 28,289 points in his career, placing him 10th on the list of highest points scorers in the history of NBA.

Carmelo Anthony one of the top scorers in the NBA all-time scoring list
Carmelo Anthony (via Grass and Court)

In addition to his signature scoring in the mid-range, Anthony was a proficient three-point shooter, capable of stretching the floor and keeping defenders honest with his outside shooting. His scoring versatility allowed him to adapt to different defensive schemes and excel in a variety of offensive sets.

9. Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant is considered one of the best players in the league. He is a versatile forward who has played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors—where he won back-to-back Championships—and the Brooklyn Nets.

Now playing for the Phoenix Suns, Durant has scored 28,318 points so far in his career, making his way up into the top 10 scorers in NBA history.

Kevin Durant one of the top scorers in the NBA all-time scoring list
Kevin Durant (via NBA)

Durant’s ability to score from beyond the arc or off the dribble made him a nightmare matchup for defenders. In addition to his perimeter scoring, Durant is a threat in the post, using his length and footwork to score over smaller defenders or draw fouls in the paint. His ability to score in a variety of ways made him virtually unstoppable on offense.

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8. Shaquille O’Neal

One of the most dominant centers in NBA history is Shaquille O’Neal, better known by his nickname “Shaq.” On the list of NBA history’s top scorers, he ranks in eighth position with 28,596 points scored during his playing career.

Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O’Neal (via AP)

Shaq’s playing style was marked by his physicality and brute force, earning him the nickname “The Diesel.” He excelled in the low post, using his size and agility to establish position and score with thunderous dunks or authoritative layups.

Shaq’s ability to finish through contact made him virtually unstoppable near the basket. During his NBA career, Shaq won four NBA Championships and is considered one of the best players of his generation.

7. Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain is widely regarded as one of the most dominant players in the history of the NBA. In his career, he scored 31,419 points, placing him seventh on the list of NBA’s all-time leading scorers.

Chamberlain is known for scoring the highest point record in a game (100), a feat which has remained intact.

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Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain (via NBA)

In addition to his scoring in the paint, Chamberlain was also a proficient mid-range shooter, capable of knocking down jump shots with consistency. His scoring versatility allowed him to adapt to different defensive schemes and excel in a variety of offensive sets.

6. Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki is one of the most skilled power forwards in NBA history. He finished his career with 31,560 points, which put him in sixth place among NBA scorers of all-time.

Nowitzki played for the Dallas Mavericks throughout his entire 21-year career. His signature one-legged fadeaway jumper and his ability to stretch the floor, earned him the nickname “The Big German.”

Dirk Nowitzki one of the top scorers in the NBA all-time scoring list
Dirk Nowitzki (via FromTheBend)

He excelled in perimeter shooting, using his height and shooting range to knock down shots from beyond the arc with precision. Nowitzki’s shooting ability forced defenders to respect his range, opening up opportunities for him to drive to the basket or create scoring chances for his teammates. Dirk Nowitzki remains one of the most revered figures in NBA history.

5. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is often referred to as the greatest basketball player of all time, due to his unparalleled success and impact on the game. He finished his career with 32,292 points, winning six Championships as the cornerstone of the Bulls dynasty.

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MJ ranks fifth in the all-time scoring chart. Jordan excelled in all facets of scoring, whether it was driving to the basket with explosiveness, pulling up for mid-range jumpers, or hitting clutch shots from beyond the arc.

Michael Jordan is fifth in the all-time scoring list
Michael Jordan (via NBA)

Michael Jordan’s ability to score in a variety of ways made him unstoppable on offense. In addition to his scoring, Jordan was a tenacious defender, using anticipation to disrupt passing lanes and generate steals. His defensive prowess often led to fast-break opportunities and easy baskets for his team.

4. Kobe Bryant

One of the best NBA players in league history, Kobe Bryant sadly passed away in a helicopter crash in 2020. He amassed 33,643 points throughout his 20-season career, which places him fourth all-time in NBA scoring.

Bryant played his whole career for the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five championship rings, two MVP awards in the Finals, and made 18 All-Star appearances.

Kobe Bryant one of the top scorers in the NBA all-time scoring list
Kobe Bryant (via Grass and Court)

Bryant’s playing style was characterized by his relentless pursuit of perfection and his ability to score in a variety of ways, earning him the nickname “The Black Mamba.” Bryant’s scoring prowess wasn’t just about physical skills. He also possessed an unparalleled mental toughness and killer instinct, allowing him to excel in pressure situations and deliver in clutch moments.

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3. Karl Malone

Another player who deserves recognition for his outstanding scoring ability is Karl Malone, widely regarded as one of the most extraordinary power forwards ever to play the game. With 36,928 points, he stands tall in third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

Karl Malone
Karl Malone (via NBA)

Malone’s ability to finish around the rim with authority made him a constant scoring threat in the paint. In addition to his scoring in the post, Malone was also a proficient mid-range shooter, capable of knocking down jump shots with consistency.

His ability to stretch the floor and keep defenders on their toes made him a great asset for his team. Malone remains one of the best players in league history.

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is second on the list of NBA history’s best scorers, with a mind-boggling 38,387 points. His record of being the highest scoring athlete in the history of the NBA remained intact for almost 40 years until LeBron surpassed the mark.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is second in the NBA all-time scoring list
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (via SI)

Abdul-Jabbar utilized his exceptional height, skillset and signature skyhook shot to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer during his time in the league. His graceful footwork, unstoppable post moves, and unparalleled basketball IQ, earned him the nicknames “The Captain” and “The Big Fella.”

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Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring prowess wasn’t limited to offense. He was also a dominant force on the defensive end, using his shot-blocking ability and defensive instincts to protect the rim and anchor his team’s defense. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers throughout his 20 seasons in the NBA.

1. LeBron James

LeBron James is still active in the league and continues to add to his impressive point total. King James has already scored 40,017 points and counting, putting him in first place on the list of highest points scorers in the history of the NBA.

In fact, LeBron is the first ever player to have crossed the 40,000 NBA points milestone in league history.

LeBron James
LeBron James (via Instagram)

James excels in driving to the basket, using his strength and explosiveness to finish through contact and soar for thunderous dunks. LeBron James’ physicality and agility make him a constant threat in transition, where he utilizes his speed and court vision to create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates.

Already a four-time NBA Champion, LeBron continues to be one of the premier superstars in the league even at 39. By the time he retires, who knows how many points King James will have beside his name!

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FAQs

Q. Who has scored the most points in NBA history?

LeBron James has scored the most points in NBA history.

Q. Where is Michael Jordan in the NBA all-time scoring list?

Michael Jordan is fifth in the NBA all-time scoring list with 32,292 points.

Q. How many points did Kobe Bryant score in his NBA career?

Kobe Bryant scored 33,643 points in his NBA career.

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