Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) shoots and Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) defends and guards as Teran Mann (14), center Ivica Zuback (40) and center Thomas Bryant watch during the first half of an NBA basketball game.  January 24, 2023 in Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LeBron James is closing.

The Los Angeles Lakers star needs 224 points to surpass Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time scoring leader. He’s so close after a 46-point effort in a 133-115 loss. Los Angeles Clippers.

Even in defeat, James gave fans their money’s worth. In addition to that scoring output, he posted 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 in 3-pointers made in a game.

The final score wasn’t close, but James led a fourth-quarter run to cut the deficit to 10 before the Clippers took over.

Breaking 40 points with the Clips also completed James’ streak of 40-point games against 30 NBA teams, an unprecedented feat. Three other players He scored 40 against 29 teams: Kevin Durant., James Harden And Kobe Bryant, the Lakers never played.

It’s only a matter of time before LeBron James breaks the NBA scoring record.

James isn’t chasing the record on the fumes of late in his impressive career. Far from it. His 29.8-point average in 37 games is the fourth-highest scoring average in 20 NBA seasons.

James averaged 20.9 points per game as a rookie and hasn’t dropped below that pace since. He is tied with the Lakers for breaking Abdul-Jabbar’s 100-plus game record. Abdul-Jabbar scored 38,387 points in 1,560 games. The Lakers’ game against the Clippers on Tuesday was the 1,404th of James’ career.

The pace has some time in February to pass James Abdul-Jabbar. It’s time for Lakers games as James pursues the final milestones of his basketball career.

Wednesday: vs. San Antonio Spurs, 10:30 p.m. ET

Saturday: as if Boston Celtics, 8:30pm ET (ABC)

January 30: as if Brooklyn Nets, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBA TV)

January 31: as if New York Knicks, 7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)

February 2: as if Indiana Packers, 7 pm in Ethiopia

February 4: as if New Orleans Pelicans, 8 pm in Ethiopia

February 7: vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 10:30 p.m. ET

February 9: vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 10 p.m. ET (TNT)

February 11: as if Golden State Warriors, 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)

February 13: as if Portland Trail Blazers, 10 pm in Ethiopia

February 15: With the New Orleans Pelicans, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)

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