Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James enters Monday night’s game against the Houston Rockets at Crypto.com Arena needing 364 points to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and become the NBA’s career scoring leader.
James scored a game-high equaling 35 points in the Lakers’ 113-112 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday night at the former Staples Center and became the second player in NBA history to reach 38,000 career points.
James surpassed the 38,000-point mark with five minutes, 43 seconds left in the first quarter when he made a 20-foot jump shot, increasing his game total to 12 and career total to 38,001.
James has scored 38,024 points in 1,399 games over 20 seasons. Abdul-Jabbar scored 38,387 points in 1,560 games over 20 seasons.
James is seventh in the league in scoring, averaging 29.2 points per game. If he maintains his average and does not miss a game, he would set the record Feb. 9 in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Crypto.com Arena.
The Lakers (19-24) have lost three consecutive games following a season-high five-game winning streak. They are 13th in the 15-team Western Conference, 1 1/2 games behind the Utah Jazz in the race for the conference’s final spot in the play-in tournament.
Monday’s game will be the Lakers’ first against Houston this season. The Rockets (10-33) have the NBA’s worst record and have lost 10 consecutive games and 15 of their last 16, including a 121-100 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday at Crypto.com Arena where they were outscored 30-10 in the fourth quarter.
The 7:30 p.m. game will be televised by Spectrum SportsNet.
City News Service contributed to this article.