Kevin Durant reflected on "a long journey" after entering the top 10 of the NBA's career scoring list.
The Denver Nuggets held off the Phoenix Suns with a 119-111 road victory on Friday.
That made it a mixed night for Durant, but still a memorable one.
The 35-year-old finished with 30 points but shot 8 of 25 from the field and missed all five shots in the fourth quarter, with Nikola Jokic having 21 points and 16 assists for the Nuggets.
A 30-point total was more than enough for Durant to move into 10th place on the scoring list.
He did so in the second quarter, driving the baseline for a layup to pass Moses Malone, who had 27,409 points, with Durant's total standing at 27,423 at the end of play.
"As a basketball player, I think it's our job to go back and know the history of the game and who paved the way for us," said Durant, per ESPN, as he labelled Malone one of the most underrated players in the sport.
"It's a long journey to be up there, mentioned with the greats.
"It takes a lot of work, a lot of preparation, a lot of people helping me get to this point."
Reggie Jackson added 20 points and Michael Porter Jr. had 19 with 10 rebounds as the Nuggets (14-6) won their fourth straight game with all five starters scoring at least 15 points.
"When we make shots like that, it's much easier for us to have a good game," said Jokic. "I think we create open looks — it's just a matter of if we're going to make it or not."
Denver played without Jamal Murray (ankle) and Aaron Gordon (heel), while Phoenix was without Devin Booker (ankle) and Bradley Beal (back).
The Suns dropped to 11-8 and are 4-5 in home games this season.
LeBron James tops the all-time scoring list with 39,124 points and is the only other active player in the top 25.
He was quick to congratulate Durant on social media.
Durant will have his sights set on moving further up the list. Carmelo Anthony (28,289 points) and Shaquille O’Neal (28,596) will be his next targets.
Suns forward Durant is a two-time NBA champion and two-time NBA Finals MVP, achieving those feats with the Golden State Warriors.
And the 13-time All Star was the NBA MVP in 2014 as a representative of the Oklahoma City Thunder.