Nelson drilled a step-back jumper at the 6:29 mark of the second period Sunday to overtake O'Neal. The basket also gave Orlando a one-point lead.
Nelson entered the game needing three points to tie O'Neal and four points to surpass him. He's also mired in the worst scoring slump of his career as a full-time starter, as Orlando Pinstriped Post documented Saturday.
Nelson's 8020 points now have him fourth on the Magic's all-time scoring list, trailing only Dwight Howard (11435), Nick Anderson (10650), and Tracy McGrady (8298). He needs just 278 points to pass McGrady. Assuming that Nelson remains healthy, he could catch McGrady by the end of the 2013/14 season.
Now in his 10th NBA season, Nelson already leads the Magic in all-time assists and ranks second, behind Nick Anderson, in games played. Bleacher Report scribe Jared Zwerling reported recently that Nelson wants to retire with the Magic, the only team for which he's played at the professional level. "I want to stay in Orlando," Nelson said, according to Zwerling.
Since Nelson's rookie season, only five players have tallied more games with their current teams than Nelson's 636 with Orlando. Those players are Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks (719), Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs (711), Tony Parker of the Spurs (685), Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers (684), and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat (643).