Did LeBron’s season low slow his quest for the NBA’s points record?on November 5, 2022 at 5:54 am

When LeBron James passed
Karl Malone for second
on the NBA’s career regular-season points list
, he set his sights firmly on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the
NBA’s current all-time leading scorer.

Abdul-Jabbar has been atop the career points list since April 5, 1984 — eight months before James was even born — when he broke the mark previously held by Wilt Chamberlain. Now James has that record within reach, needing 1,134 points to surpass Abdul-Jabbar’s career total of 38,387.

At his career scoring average of 27.1 PPG, James would need 42 games to rack up that total, putting him on track to break the record on Jan. 28 against the Boston Celtics if he plays every game between now and then. If James misses games at the same rate he did last season, the record-breaking game would come March 12 against the New York Knicks. Through eight games this season, James is averaging 24.0 PPG, leaving him slightly behind his career pace.

We’ll have ongoing coverage of LeBron’s quest, including updated game-by-game projections and complete stats, throughout the season.

JAMES VS. ABDUL-JABBAR

James is now in his 20th season, the same number Abdul-Jabbar played in his
career. And while the legendary Lakers big man posted bigger scoring numbers early in his playing days, James’ lengthy prime (18 consecutive seasons averaging at least 25 PPG) has allowed him to close
the gap.

JAMES

ABDUL-JABBAR

YEAR-BY-YEAR POINT TOTALS

20TH YEAR COMPARISON

“If LeBron breaks the record, and it looks like he has every reason to break
it, I’ll be very happy for him. The game will always improve when records like that are
broken.”

KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

James was held to a season-low 17 points, going 0-for-5 from 3-point range. He’s now missed the last 13 3-point attempts he’s taken over the past three games.

LAST 5 GAMES

“To know that I’m on the verge of breaking probably the most
sought-after record in the NBA, things that people say would probably never be done, I think it’s
just super humbling for myself. I think it’s super cool.”

LeBRON JAMES

On passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

PI/ZUMA PRESS/ICON SPORTSWIRE

James has faced his former team just 18 times in his career, fewer games than he’s played against any NBA opponent. However his 29.6 PPG against the Cavs represents his best against any single team.

MORE LEBRON JAMES

Edited by Adam Reisinger.

Produced by ESPN Creative Studio: Michelle Bashaw, Rob Booth, Chris DeLisle, Jessi Dodge, Heather Donahue,
Jarret Gabel, Luke Knox, Rachel Weiss.

Illustrations by Iveta Karpathyova. Development by Christian Ramirez. Research by ESPN Stats and
Information.

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