In which game could LeBron break the all-time record? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
It was on October 29, 2003 that an 18-year-old rookie named LeBron James hit a 16-foot jumper against the Sacramento Kings for the first points of his NBA career.
Now, nearly 20 years and more than 38,000 points later, James is poised to become the league’s all-time leading scorer.
He currently ranks second behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who has long held the record with 38,387 career points. Projecting when and where James will set the new mark remains an inexact science that depends on LeBron’s offensive productivity and overall readiness for the next dozen games.
During our preseason story on the 10 must-play games of the NBA regular season, we predicted it would be Feb. 23 against the Golden State Warriors. But LeBron is currently on track to do it even sooner, having hit the 38,000-point mark on Jan. 15.
Based solely on James’ average of 30.2 points per game this season, it would take three more games for him to score his 38,388th career point. That puts him in position to score the historic bucket Feb. 7 against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
Of course, it could happen first with some offensive outburst or later with a load management DNP.
Here’s a look at LeBron’s current point total and the Lakers’ upcoming games, one of which will be the setting for a record-breaking moment.
How many points does LeBron need to break the all-time record?
LeBron, after sitting out Monday against the Brooklyn Nets, posted his first triple-double of the season against the New York Knicks on Tuesday with 28 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
This brought his career total to 38,299, bringing him within 89 points of Abdul-Jabbar for the most in league history. James also moved into fourth place on the NBA’s all-time assists list on Tuesday, passing both Mark Jackson and Steve Nash.
In which game could LeBron break the all-time record?
LeBron is on course to break the record in February. Here’s the next Lakers schedule…
Feb. 2 at the Indiana Pacers – LeBron is expected to come close to breaking Wilt Chamberlain’s single-game scoring record to break Indiana’s all-time record.
Feb. 4 at the New Orleans Pelicans – LeBron’s DNP on Monday almost guaranteed the scoring record won’t be broken in the Lakers’ five-game road trip.
Feb. 7 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – LeBron is on track to return to Los Angeles and break the record against the Thunder, possibly with Abdul-Jabbar sitting courtside.
Feb. 9 vs. Milwaukee Bucks – Maybe he puts his mark against the Bucks, fitting since it’s a matchup between the two NBA teams Abdul-Jabbar has played for.
Feb. 11 at the Golden State Warriors – Remember when LeBron assaulted the Warriors on opening night as they received championship rings? Perhaps he counters with the league’s highest individual home field achievement in front of a national television audience.
February 13 at the Portland Trail Blazers – Portland would be a somewhat random and unsentimental place for LeBron to make history. Then again, Abdul-Jabbar broke the record in Vegas. Confused? The Utah Jazz played a few home games in nearby Las Vegas in the 1980s while building a local fan base following their relocation from New Orleans. While the Lakers were playing the Jazz in April 1984 at the Thomas and Mack Center at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Abdul-Jabbar hit a skyhook to bring his point total to 31,420 points, surpassing the previous record held by Wilt Chamberlain.
Feb. 15 vs. New Orleans Pelicans – Maybe the Lakers will force feed LeBron the ball so he can set the record in their last game before the NBA All-Star break.