But many more were watching to see Lakers small forward LeBron James score his 18th point of the night and the 33,644th of his career, giving him one more point on the league's all-time scoring list than former Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant.
James obliged with 7:22 left in the third quarter, scoring on a layup assisted from Lakers power forward Anthony Davis to cut Philadelphia's lead to 74-54 and take his place behind only Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone for most points scored in NBA history.
At that moment, the celebrations for James commenced. And they were led by Hall of Famer Magic Johnson -- and Bryant himself:
Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) January 26, 2020
Congratulations to @KingJames! One Laker great passing another Laker great for number 3 on the all-time scoring list!!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 26, 2020
James ended up with 29 points in what was ultimately a 108-91 loss in Philadelphia, as 76ers point guard Ben Simmons led his team with 10 rebounds and eight assists to go with an extremely efficient 28 points on 12-for-15 shooting. Simmons, a James protégé, showed his appreciation for James after the game.
Simmons has nothing but respect for LeBron and his historic night
Ben Simmons reflects on the Sixers' defensive outing against the Lakers and expresses his appreciation for LeBron James
James now has 33,655 career points, trailing Malone by 3,273 points and Abdul-Jabbar by 4,732 points.
LeBron receives standing ovation after passing Kobe
The 76ers crowd showers LeBron James with applause after James passed Kobe Bryant for third on the NBA all-time scoring list.
Congrats my brother.. keep inspiring @KingJames 🗣🗣— Tristan Thompson (@RealTristan13) January 26, 2020
Well let me be the First to Congratulate LeBron James on this amazing accomplishment!!! Passing up the Great Kobe "Mamba" Bryant in Career points is unreal and remarkable!!! Congrats @KingJames— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) January 26, 2020
"There it is. He just became the 3rd-leading scorer in NBA history." 👑👑👑 pic.twitter.com/3dVhG2Pzlp— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 26, 2020