Tuesday, March 21 2023
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LeBron James is getting closer and closer with each passing game. After scoring 26 points against the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, he is now only 63 points shy of breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time NBA scoring record. The former Buck and Laker scored an incredible 38,387 points in his illustrious career, but James is right on his heels with 38,325.

Even if James matches his career high of 61 points in the Lakers’ final game of their road trip on Saturday, he’d still need another game to get the record. On his current average of 30.2 points per game, he’d need three games. But averages can be misleading. With history now in sight, let’s go game-by-game and predict how many points he’ll score in the buildup to the record. 

Saturday, Feb. 4 @ Pelicans: 24 points

When a healthy Anthony Davis plays against the Pelicans, he tends to dominate. He scored 87 points combined in two meetings against his old team in 2020. The trouble is, either the schedule or injuries have weakened him for most of his subsequent matchups. Now that Davis appears to be relatively healthy, he’s probably going to do the lion’s share of the scoring for the Lakers in this one. James will chip away and bring it down to a manageable number for when the Lakers return home next week. — Projected points away from record postgame: 39

Tuesday, Feb. 7 vs. Thunder: 26 points

This is roughly when we should expect the gravity of the record to hit him and for him to start pressing a bit. Remember, Stephen Curry was taking over 14 3-pointers per game in the seven games leading up to his 3-point record-breaker last season, and he was hitting them at only a 34.7 percent clip. So expect a high-volume, low-efficiency game out of James in this one, especially if Lu Dort can make it back from his right hamstring strain and put him in the “Dorture Chamber.” — Projected points away from record postgame: 13

Thursday, Feb. 9 vs. Bucks: 34 points

All signs point to Milwaukee. This is the opponent his current pace would have him breaking the record against. It’s a home game, which James would likely prefer. The Bucks are a team James has typically succeeded against. They are a worthy opponent led by his fellow All-Star captain, Giannis Antetokounmpo. They are even the first team that Abdul-Jabbar played for. This should be the night, and it should come relatively early in the game.

After nearly 39 years, the NBA has a new all-time scoring king, and his name is LeBron James.

Source: CBSSports.com


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