"Top 10 in anything of all time is a special thing," Anthony said. "I don't want to take this moment for granted. I understand how big this moment is. It don't seem real because I'm still in it, I'm still doing this."
With 11:09 left in the second quarter against the Hawks in Atlanta, Anthony isolated on the right wing and pulled up from 3, plus the foul. After his trademark move of hitting the side of his head with three fingers, Anthony raised both arms in the air as a quick acknowledgement of the accomplishment.
"I knew this moment. I didn't know the other moments," Anthony said. "I didn't know the 15 and 13 and 11, but 10 is something I knew. I've felt it. I felt it coming into the game. I didn't want to rush it or force it or anything; I wanted to let the game coming to me and happen naturally. I felt good coming into today, and as you can see, the shot was falling early and I got off to a great start. That made it easier. I could exhale and relax."
It was his third 3 of the first half, giving him 12 points. Anthony entered Monday's game against the Hawks nine points behind Hayes' career total of 27,313.
Anthony finished the night with 14 points overall -- and 27,318 for his career -- as Portland fell to Atlanta 123-114.
In the locker room afterward, coach Terry Stotts presented Anthony the game ball.
"I told my teammates after the game that it was my perseverance, it was me staying true to myself, never wavering and staying solid," Anthony said. "That's why I'm able to be in this position today."
Moses Malone is next up on the all-time list at 27,409, a reachable number this season if Anthony maintains his current scoring pace.
Anthony's journey to the top 10 comes with context, with him away from the NBA for a season after being cut by the Houston Rockets after just 10 games early in the 2018-19 season. Anthony continued working out and signed with the Trail Blazers in November 2019, starting all 58 games last season. He agreed to a bench role this season with Portland and entered Monday averaging 13.6 points as a sixth man.
A 10-time All-Star, Anthony is in his 18th NBA season. He won the scoring title with the New York Knicks in 2012-13, averaging 28.7 points. Anthony spent 10 consecutive seasons in the top 10 in scoring and finished as a runner-up for the scoring title twice in that stretch.
Anthony's point distribution is 13,970 in eight seasons with the Denver Nuggets, 10,186 in seven seasons with the Knicks, 1,261 in one season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, 134 with the Rockets and now 1,767 in two seasons with the Blazers.