LeBron James moved within 177 points of the NBA’s all-time scoring record as the Los Angeles Lakers were beaten 133-115 by the Los Angeles Clippers.
James scored 46 points in the losing cause, but in the process made history as the first player to hit 40 points against every franchise in the league.
The 38-year-old also finished the night with a career-high nine three-pointers – the first player 35 or older to make nine or more threes in a game.
“I put a lot of work into it and was able to make a few shots tonight to try to help us stay in the game,” James told reporters. “The Clippers, they’re really good — exceptionally good — when they shoot the three ball.”
The Clippers made 19 three-pointers during Tuesday’s game, including three from Paul George, who scored a team-high 27 points, and four each from Terance Mann, Norman Powell and Reggie Jackson.
Kawhi Leonard, meanwhile, had 25 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
James brought his all-time points tally to 38,210 as he continues his pursuit of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 38,387. With his average of 30.2 points per game this season, James is expected to match the record six games against the Indiana Pacers on February 2nd.
“I never thought I could catch Kareem scoring, it was never something I had in mind,” he said.
“As it gets closer and closer, I think I’ll start to feel it more and more … I’ve gotten to this place by not even thinking about it or not even being in the moment, just trying to play played the right way.”
Behind James, Russell Westbrook scored 17 points as the Lakers fell to their 10th straight loss against the Clippers – a streak that stretches back to July 2020.
After trailing by 23 points at halftime, the Lakers never seemed to get back into the game and have now lost five of their last eight to drop to 13th in the Western Conference standings.
They next play the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, while the Clippers – after three straight wins – face the Spurs on Friday.
With his season average of 30.2 points per game, James passed Abdul Jabbar’s 34-year NBA scoring record against the Pacers on February 2nd. Here are the Lakers upcoming games:
- Jan. 25 vs. San Antonio Spurs
- Jan. 28 at the Boston Celtics
- Jan. 30 at Brooklyn Nets
- Jan. 31 at the New York Knicks
- February 2 at Indiana Pacers*
- Feb. 4 at New Orleans Pelicans
- Feb. 7 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
- Feb. 9 against the Milwaukee Bucks