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While LeBron James inched ever closer to becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer on Saturday night, the Los Angeles Lakers couldn’t extend their winning streak to three as they took a 131-126 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans to close out their five-game road trip.

James put forth a solid effort with 27 points, nine rebounds, and six assists, and Anthony Davis had a fantastic game as well, with 34 points and 14 rebounds. But despite holding a 12-point lead in the third quarter, the Lakers couldn’t hang on as the Pelicans just wouldn’t go away.

Former Laker Brandon Ingram was held scoreless in the first quarter and still ended the night with 35 points, bucketing 15 of 28 shots from the floor and five of six from the foul line. CJ McCollum added 23 points and seven assists, while Trey Murphy, who hit two key three-pointers late in the game, chipped in 21 points and five boards.

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

LeBron James during a Lakers-Pelicans matchup in February 2023
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at the Smoothie King Center on February 04, 2023 | Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
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With his 27-point effort against the Pelicans on Saturday night, LeBron James now has 38,352 regular-season points for his career, putting him just 35 behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s all-time NBA record of 38,387.

James is averaging just over 30 points per game this season, so if he maintains that average when the Lakers host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, he’d obviously come up a few points short. However, LeBron has surpassed the 35-point mark on nine occasions this season. So there’s certainly a strong chance that the record will fall Tuesday night.

But if it doesn’t, it certainly will on Thursday when LA hosts the Milwaukee Bucks, which would be the more appropriate scenario anyway.