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Kobe Bryant Becomes 4th to Reach 32,000 Career Points

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffNovember 19, 2014

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 18:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after hitting a basket against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 18, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant scored 28 points in Tuesday's 114-109 win over the Atlanta Hawks to become the fourth player ever with 32,000 or more career points, per NBA on Twitter.

Bryant entered the contest at 31,973 points, needing just 27 more to reach a milestone that had previously only been achieved by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points), Karl Malone (36,928) and Michael Jordan (32,292).

Having scored 27 or more points in six of his first 10 contests this season, Bryant was a good bet to hit the 32,000-point mark in Tuesday's game, which came just two days after his 44-point performance in a loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Bryant wasted no time moving toward the milestone Tuesday night, scoring 11 first-quarter points to help the Lakers build a 31-20 lead at the end of the first period.

Following another eight points in the second quarter, Bryant entered halftime just eight away from the milestone.

What once looked like a sure thing wasn't so certain after the third quarter, as Bryant didn't score a single point in the frame, missing his lone field-goal attempt.

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However, he came back from the bench strong midway through the fourth quarter, entering the game with just over six minutes remaining and the Lakers holding a 97-92 lead.

As he has done so many times before, Bryant shut the door with a huge finish, scoring nine of his team's final 17 points in the victory.

Point No. 32,000 was especially impressive, as Bryant was sitting at 31,998 with his team up 105-102 in the final 90 seconds, and he then hit a deep two-point jumper over Hawks guard Thabo Sefolosha, who was called for a foul on the play.

Following the successful free throw, he sat at 30,001 career points, leaving him just 291 shy of Jordan for third place on the all-time list.

Bryant figures to pass His Royal Airness sometime before the New Year, assuming his health is cooperative.

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