Bryant, who went into the game trailing Chamberlain by four points, is behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928) and Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan (32,292).
Bryant had passed former teammate Shaquille O'Neal for fifth place on the list. But Bryant said passing Chamberlain, an NBA icon with Philadelphia ties like himself, was special.
“He was such a warm-hearted gentleman, I have nothing but praise for him. To pass him up is a huge honor to say the least,” Bryant said.
Bryant has insisted he's more concerned with gaining a sixth NBA title, and the 34-year-old has a battle on his hands with the Lakers struggling to make the playoffs this season.
The Lakers limped into Sacramento, the final stop in a four-game road trip, with Bryant fighting pain from a bone spur in his left foot, an injury that apparently is not related to his sprained left ankle.