LeBron is about to pass Kobe in a statistical category that validated Bryant

Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant held two things dear during his basketball career.

The former Los Angeles Lakers superstar loved to score and he loved to win.

And he loved to score at winning time.

That meant in situations at the end of games, but it also meant in situations at the end of every season with the championship on the line.

Given those parameters, it's entirely possible that how much he scored in the playoffs - with everything on the line - could be a statistic that Kobe holds dear, maybe even more dear than any other in his career.

In that regard, there's bad news for Kobe and his legacy from LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers: Get out of the way!

With 12 points in Game 3 of his first-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers, James will pass Kobe to become third all-time on the playoff scoring list.

That means probably before halftime of Thursday night's game, Kobe will be relegated to number four on the list, which is led by Michael Jordan.

Kobe has 5,640 career playoff points, while LeBron is staring him down with 5,629 after scoring 25 points in Monday's 117-111 win against Indiana to claim a 2-0 lead in the series.

After Kobe, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is just 122 points past Mamba with 5,762 points.

Then, MJ will be in his sights, as Jordan scored 5,987 in his career, with only 358 points separating LeBron and MJ.

That means that after LBJ dusts Kobe on Thursday, Kareem should be next and it should happen sometime very soon.

Could LeBron even get to the top of the list this year?

It's pretty likely.

James has scored 497 points or more in each of the last six playoff years, where his season has ended in the finals in each.

Adding in the 57 points he has already scored through two games this year, LeBron would only need 416 points total this postseason to pass Jordan.

The last time he didn't reach that was in 2009-10 when he scored 320 in final season of his first go-round with the Cavs.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics, Game 6

Assuming he equals his career average of 28.0 points per playoff game, that would mean the Cavaliers would have to play in 13 games to give LeBron a chance.

Assuming 2-3 more games with Indiana in the first round, about 5 second-round games and then about 5-6 games in the Eastern Conference finals, James could conceivably pass Jordan without even getting to the Finals.

However, a more conservative guess on his scoring outputs in the East playoffs could set up a scenario where LeBron passes the mark in the NBA Finals.

Either way, it's likely LeBron will go into the summer with another note of history in his legendary career.

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