ATLANTA (AP) — Kobe Bryant passed Moses Malone for sixth place on the NBA's career scoring list on Tuesday.
The Los Angeles Lakers guard was 12 points from matching Malone's 27,409 points going into a game against the Atlanta Hawks, and passed Malone when he made three free throws with 2:05 remaining in the first half.
He finished with 26 points as the Lakers beat Atlanta 101-87 for their eighth straight win.
Hawks coach Larry Drew remembers thinking as a young Lakers assistant coach that Bryant's talent "was off the charts" when the teen made his NBA debut with Los Angeles in 1996.
Fifteen years later, Drew wasn't surprised to see Bryant still climbing the charts.
"He's very unique," Drew said of the Lakers' star. "I was in L.A. when we traded for him, and you saw the talent.
"It was a matter of understanding and picking his spots and learning to play the game on the NBA level. And he did that. ... He's a phenomenal player."
Bryant, a 13-time All-Star, has moved past an impressive list of Hall of Fame scorers this season. He passed Malone one week after eclipsing Elvin Hayes for seventh. He also has topped the scoring totals of Hakeem Olajuwon, Oscar Robertson, Dominique Wilkins and John Havlicek this season.
"I'm just very fortunate, that's all," Bryant said.