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LeBron James breaks Kobe Bryant's Christmas Day scoring record in Lakers' loss to Nets

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LeBron James is nicknamed The King. He even refers to himself as such.

But he's now also the King of Christmas as he suited up for his 16th Christmas Day game, tying all-time leader Kobe Bryant, who played 16 times on Christmas during his 20-year career.

That's not the only Christmas Day record of Bryant's that James chased down when the Los Angeles Lakers hosted the COVID-riddled Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.

James entered Saturday only 13 points away from passing Bryant to become the all-time leading scorer on Christmas Day. He overtook Bryant's all-time record of 395 Christmas Day points during the second quarter. James also needed just two field goals to pass Bryant's 137 for the most-ever on Christmas Day, a feat he also accomplished by halftime thanks to a strong 7-for-11 showing from the field in the first half.

James finished with a game-high 39 points, giving him 422 overall on Christmas Day, on 14-for-25 shooting. The Lakers, though, lost their fifth straight game as the Nets fought off their big fourth-quarter comeback to win 122-115.

Despite adding more records to his lofty resume, James was mostly focused on the fact the Lakers lost.

“I don’t really care about the way I play if it comes in a loss,” James said after the game.

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Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) talks to Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (24) during a free throw in an NBA basketball game in Cleveland on Feb. 8, 2009.
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) talks to Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (24) during a free throw in an NBA basketball game in Cleveland on Feb. 8, 2009.

Although James has previously expressed disdain toward being away from his family on Christmas Day, his stance toward the holidays has eased over the seasons. Last year, he said he was so excited for the Lakers' Christmas Day matchup against the Dallas Mavericks that it "might be hard for me to sleep" and he shared similar sentiments on Christmas Eve.

James has won 10 games on Christmas Day, tied with Dwyane Wade for the most in NBA history. That was one record he did not beat Saturday as the Lakers suffered the setback.

Still, the 10 wins have been no easy feat as he's led the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers against the likes of Tracy McGrady (2003), Wade (2007, 2014), Bryant (2009-2010), Dirk Nowitzki (2011) Kevin Durant (2012, 2016, 2017), Stephen Curry (2015, 2016) and Kawhi Leonard (2019) over the years.

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The Lakers-Nets matchup was poised to be a showdown between James and Kevin Durant, who entered tied for the most 3-pointers made on Christmas Day with 25 each. But Durant did not play Saturday after entering the NBA's health and safety protocols earlier this week amid a surge of COVID-19 cases across the league. That allowed James, who went 3-for-9 from long range, to grab another Christmas Day record.

The Lakers have also been battling personnel issues. Anthony Davis was ruled out for at least four weeks after he suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee on Friday.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: LeBron James breaks multiple Christmas Day records held by Kobe Bryant