LeBron James moved within 177 points of the NBA’s all-time 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 score 40 points against every franchise in the league.
The 38-year-old also ended the night with a career-high nine threes – the first player aged 35 or older to have nine or more threes in a game.
“I put a lot of work into it and was able to get in a few shots tonight to try and help us stay in the game,” James told reporters. “The Clippers, they’re really good – exceptionally good – when they shoot the three.”
The Clippers made 19 three-pointers over the course of Tuesday’s game, including three from Paul George, who posted a team-high 27 points, and four each from Terance Mann, Norman Powell and Reggie Jackson.
Kawhi Leonard, on the other hand, had 25 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
James brought his all-time score to 38,210 while continuing to track Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 38,387. Averaging 30.2 points per game this season, James is expected to break the record in six games against the Indiana Pacers on February 2nd.
“I never thought I could catch Kareem in scoring, it was never something I thought about,” he said.
“I think I’ll feel it more and more as it gets closer and closer… I got to this place not even thinking about it or not even being in that moment, but just trying to play the game the right way.” .”
Behind James, Russell Westbrook scored 17 points as the Lakers lost to the Clippers for a tenth straight season — a streak dating back to July 2020.
Trailing 23 points at halftime, the Lakers never looked like getting back into the game and have now lost five of the last eight to slip to 13th in Western Conference standings.
They next play the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, while the Clippers – after three straight wins – play the Spurs on Friday.
James’ season average of 30.2 points per game against the Pacers on Feb. 2 could surpass Abdul Jabbar’s 34-year-old record in the NBA. Here are the upcoming Lakers games:
- January 25 vs. San Antonio Spurs
- January 28 with the Boston Celtics
- January 30 at Brooklyn Nets
- January 31 at the New York Knicks
- February 2 at the Indiana Pacers*
- February 4th New Orleans Pelicans
- February 7 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
- February 9 vs. Milwaukee Bucks