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Not since his rookie season had LeBron James started 0-4, but that’s where he finds himself to kick off the 2022-23 campaign as the Los Angeles Lakers remained one of only three winless teams with a 110-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.

Still the worst shooting team in the NBA, LeBron had his roughest night of the year thus far, shooting just 8-for-21 from the floor, 2-for-8 from the three-point line, and 1-for-2 from the foul line for a season-low 19 points, adding nine assists and seven rebounds.

Anthony Davis led the way for the Lakers with 22 points and 14 rebounds. The upside for LA was that Russell Westbrook didn’t miss a single shot. But only because he didn’t play, as he sat out with a sore left hamstring.

LeBron & Co. hung with the Nuggets for the first 24 minutes and took a 54-54 tie into the locker room, but then watched Denver go on a 29-9 run in the third quarter. LA got back within single digits in the fourth, but a Jamal Murray three-pointer sealed the deal.

The Lakers had no answer for reigning two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, who fell one assist shy of a triple-double with 31 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists.

How close is LeBron James to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record following the Lakers’ loss to the Nuggets?

LeBron James during a Lakers-Nuggets matchup in October 2022
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers drives against Aaron Gordon of the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena on October 26, 2022 | Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

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With his 19-point effort in Wednesday night’s loss, LeBron James now has 37,163 regular-season points for his career, putting him 1,224 behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s record of 38,387.

Assuming he doesn’t miss any action and continues on his current pace of 25.3 points per game, James would surpass Kareem on Thursday, February 2, when the Lakers visit the Indiana Pacers.

Suppose LeBron bumps it up just a notch and scores his career average of 27.1 points per game. In that case, he’d surpass Abdul-Jabbar a few nights earlier when the Lakers visit the rival Boston Celtics for a nationally-televised broadcast on ABC on Saturday, January 28.

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