LeBron James marked his 36th birthday by ticking off another staggering NBA achievement - just as Becky Hammon made it a landmark night for women in US sports.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar James became the first player in the league's history to rack up 1,000 consecutive double-digit scoring games, helping his team to a 121-107 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

It came as Hammon became the first woman to act as head coach in the NBA, taking over after Spurs boss Gregg Popovich was ejected in the second quarter.

James said he would enjoy a socially distanced night of birthday celebration, with "some good wine, maybe some tequila", and spoke of his astonishment at being able to enjoy such a career.

"I would be lying if I could sit here and tell you I could wrap my head around it," he said, speaking in a video news conference.

"It doesn't make sense but I took advantage of every opportunity I've been given."

He spoke of feeling like "one of the chosen ones" who could make a difference on and off court, 

"Nobody is perfect but you can try to be as great as you can every single day," he added. "I've been doing this half my life in this league. I'm 36 today and I got in at 18."

Hammon had a long playing career in the WNBA with the New York Liberty and San Antonio Silver Stars, before moving into coaching in the NBA in 2014 when a Spurs opportunity materialised.

James is respectful of the effort that Hammon, now 43, has put in to come so far in her career.

"She's been putting in the work, and any time you put in the work then you get rewarded with opportunities," he said.

"She's been paying her dues over the last few years and Coach Pop has given her an opportunity to first of all be the coach of the Summer League team and now be a head coach if anything ever happened to Pop.

"Tonight was a case where she got to step in and show her work, show her talents and show her love for the game. What she did as a player, first of all, we all know that. So in her mind she was able to transfer to our league, and she's been great ever since she got in.

"It's a beautiful thing just to hear her barking out calls, barking out sets, and she's very passionate about the game, so congrats to her and congrats to our league."