The Cleveland Cavaliers star passed Jordan (1,176 points) with his first bucket in Game 4 on Friday night against the Golden State Warriors, an and-1 layup with 9:56 left in the first quarter. James set the mark in his 44th career Finals game; Jordan played 35.
James set two other records Friday.
He posted his ninth career triple-double in a Finals game, breaking the record previously held by Magic Johnson. Three of those triple-doubles have come with his team facing elimination.
James also broke Jordan's record for most career free throws made in the playoffs, passing MJ's mark of 1,463.
"We just kept our composure. We shared the ball, we moved the ball and defensively we were physical,'' James said after Cleveland's 137-116 win. "It's one game. It'll be even tougher in Game 5, but we look forward to the challenge."
James detailed his reverence for Jordan when he passed him in playoff scoring in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics.
"I wear the number because of Mike," James said of the No. 23 on his uniform. "I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike, just because of what he was able to accomplish. When you're watching Michael Jordan it's almost like a god. So I didn't think I could be Mike."