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On this day in sport: NBA record falls, Asia enjoys basketball breakthrough, and England lose landmark rugby clash

By John Skilbeck

London, April 5: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar remains the record points scorer in the NBA, with LeBron James the man best-placed to snatch that accolade.

Abdul-Jabbar achieved his status on this day way back in 1984 and his total has proved out of reach of basketball's greatest stars since then.

Another NBA landmark moment occurred 19 years ago when China's Wang Zhizhi made his entrance into the league.

And going back over a century, rugby league saw a historic moment unfold in Wigan when the sport's first international fixture was held.

We take a look back at April 5 in sporting history.

1904 - England lose historic rugby league match

The first official international rugby league match took place on this day, featuring England playing an 'Other Nationalities' team at Wigan's Central Park.

The fixture had been due to take place in Oldham in January but was called off due to a frozen playing surface.

Historic reports point to a match in which the rugby was less noteworthy than the sense of occasion, with England beaten 9-3 by a team largely made up of Welsh players and attached to clubs from the northern England heartland of the sport.

1984 - Abdul-Jabbar makes NBA history

Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA's all-time leading scorer, with a spectacular total of 38,387 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers great went to the top of the pile on this day 36 years ago.

He passed Wilt Chamberlain to reach the summit and went there in style in a match against the Utah Jazz that was played in Las Vegas, feeding off a pass from Magic Johnson and landing a sky-hook shot. It took him to 31,421 points, as he became the first of six players to date to better Chamberlain's old record.

2001 - Asian breakthrough in USA

Wang will not go down as a great, but he made history on April 5, 2001, becoming the first Asian player to appear in the NBA.

The Dallas Mavericks center made his bow off the bench in a 108-94 win over the Atlanta Hawks, scoring six points in 8:07 on court. He later turned out for the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat before returning to his native China and starring for the Bayi Rockets.

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Read more about: basketball nba rugby
Story first published: Sunday, April 5, 2020, 12:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 5, 2020
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