Lakers' LeBron James Praises Tim Duncan After Passing Him on Playoff Wins List

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 23, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates a play with teammate Alex Caruso, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers' 116-108 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday carried additional meaning for LeBron James, who passed Tim Duncan on the NBA's all-time playoff wins list.

After moving into sole possession of second place with his 158th postseason win, James praised Duncan to reporters as someone who "lived in the postseason" throughout his career.

James could soon take over the top spot on the NBA's playoff wins list. He's only three behind Derek Fisher's record of 161 victories.


Congrats to @KingJames of the @Lakers for moving up to 2nd on the all-time #NBAPlayoffs WINS list! https://t.co/y5QuRpzPcM

During Duncan's 19-year NBA career from 1997 to 2015, the San Antonio Spurs never missed the postseason. He was unable to play in the 2000 playoffs because of a back injury, but that's the only time he wasn't part of the playoffs.

James does have an advantage over Duncan in winning percentage. The four-time NBA MVP needed 242 games to reach 158 wins (65.3 percent); Duncan went 157-94 in the playoffs (62.55 percent), though he has an edge in titles won (five to three).

James and Duncan went head-to-head three times in the NBA Finals. Duncan's Spurs beat James twice: in 2007 when they swept the Cleveland Cavaliers and in 2014 when they defeated the Miami Heat in five games. James and the Heat won the 2013 NBA Finals in seven games.