LeBron James reached 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 made history in the process as the first player to score 40 points against any franchise in the league.
The 38-year-old also finished the night with a career-high nine three-pointers—the first player age 35 or older to make nine or more threes in a game.
“I put a lot of work into it and was able to get a few shots tonight to help us stay in the game,” James told reporters. “The Clippers, they are really good – exceptionally good – when they shoot the three balls.”
The Clippers made 19 three-pointers over the course of Tuesday’s game, including three by Paul George, who scored a team-high 27 points, and four each by Terance Mann, Norman Powell and Reggie Jackson.
Kawhi Leonard, meanwhile, had 25 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
James brought his all-time point total to 38,210 as he continues to pursue 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 2.
“I never thought I could catch Kareem scoring, that’s never been something I thought about,” he said.
“As it gets closer and closer I think I’m going to feel it more and more… I got to this place by not even thinking about it or not even being in that moment, just trying to play the game on play the right way.” way.”
Behind James, Russell Westbrook scored 17 points as the Lakers fell to their 10th consecutive loss to the Clippers – a streak stretching back to July 2020.
Trailing by 23 points at halftime, the Lakers never looked to get back into the game and have now lost five of their past eight to fall to 13th in the Western Conference standings.
They then play against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, while the Clippers – on a run of three straight wins – play against the Spurs on Friday.
With his season average of 30.2 points per game, James could break Abdul Jabbar’s 34-year scoring record in the NBA against the Pacers on February 2. Here are the Lakers’ upcoming games:
- January 25 vs. San Antonio Spurs
- January 28 at Boston Celtics
- January 30 at Brooklyn Nets
- January 31 at New York Knicks
- February 2 at Indiana Pacers*
- February 4 at New Orleans Pelicans
- February 7 against Oklahoma City Thunder
- February 9 against Milwaukee Bucks