Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during a stoppage in play against the Denver Nuggets in the first half at Staples Center. Image Credit: Reuters

Los Angeles: LeBron James overtook his boyhood idol and inspiration, Michael Jordan, for fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list Wednesday, making history with a driving lay-up for the Los Angeles Lakers in a home loss to Denver Nuggets.

The 34-year-old superstar matched the Chicago Bulls legend’s career total of 32,292 points with his first 12 of the game, then made history with 5:38 remaining in the second quarter and sank a free throw to complete a 3-point play.

“A lot of stuff I’ve done in my career — this ranks right up there at the top with winning the championship,” James said. “It’s just crazy, to be honest. It’s beyond crazy.”

During the next timeout, James went to the bench and buried his head in a towel, appearing to cry while a video tribute played on the scoreboard and he reflected upon the achievement of surpassing the icon he emulated.

“It was very emotional. A lot of things were going on inside me at the time,” he said. “I didn’t want to show what was going on behind that towel.”

Denver, led by Will Barton’s 23 points, defeated the Lakers 115-99 to pull within a game of Golden State for the Western Conference lead. The Nuggets (43-21) closed with a 26-12 run to foil a Lakers rally.

But the night belonged to James, who drew “Thank You MJ 23” on his shoes.