LeBron James is getting closer.
The Los Angeles Lakers star entered Tuesday with 224 points to surpass Kareem-Abdul Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. He’s that much closer after a 46-point effort in a 133-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Even in a losing effort, James gave the fans their money’s worth. In addition to that goal production, he had eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals, one block, zero turnovers and zero personal fouls in 32 minutes. He shot 9 of 14 from deep, a career-high 3-pointer in a single game.
The final score wasn’t close, but James led a run in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 10 before the Clippers regained firm control.
Breaking 40 points against the Clippers also completed James’ 40-point game collection against all 30 NBA teams, an unprecedented feat. Three other players scored 40 against 29 teams: Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kobe Bryant, who never played against the Lakers.
LeBron James breaks NBA scoring record is only a matter of time
James is not chasing the late offshoot record of his remarkable career. Far from there. His 29.8-point average over 37 games would be the fourth-highest scoring rate in his 20 NBA seasons.
James averaged 20.9 points per game as a rookie and hasn’t dropped below that rate since. He’s on schedule to break Abdul-Jabbar’s record of more than 100 fewer games played than his fellow Lakers. Abdul-Jabbar reached his total of 38,387 points in 1,560 games. The Lakers’ game against the Clippers on Tuesday was the 1,404th of James’ career.
The pace allowed James to overtake Abdul-Jabbar in February. Here’s the upcoming slate of Lakers games as James pursues one of the last major milestones of his basketball career.
Wednesday: vs. San Antonio Spurs, 10:30 p.m. ET
Saturday: at Boston Celtics, 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
January 30: at Brooklyn Nets, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBA TV)
January 31: at New York Knicks, 7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
February 2: at Indiana Pacers, 7 p.m. ET
February 4: at New Orleans Pelicans, 8 p.m. ET
February 7: vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 10:30 p.m. ET
February 9: vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 10 p.m. ET (TNT)
February 11th : at Golden State Warriors, 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
February 13: at Portland Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. ET
February 15: vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)