LeBron James closes on NBA scoring record in LA defeat

LeBron James edged closer to the NBA’s all-time scoring record but could not prevent the Los Angeles Lakers losing 133-115 to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The 38-year-old scored 46 points to move to within 178 of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 38,387.

James also became the first player to have had a 40-point game against every NBA franchise.

“He’s playing at an unbelievable level right now. It’s amazing to be able to watch,” said Lakers coach Darvin Ham.

James’ tally included a career-best nine three-pointers as well as eight rebounds and seven assists.

On current form, James is on track to break Abdul-Jabbar’s record within two weeks.

“I’m happy for him, but we’ve got to get better,” added Ham. “We’ve got to give some help in other areas.

“We want to win games – so everyone can do something a little bit better, myself and my staff included.”

Paul George top-scored with 27 points for the Clippers as they earned their 10th successive victory over the Lakers, a run that stretches back to the opening game of the 2020-21 season.

The win moves the Clippers up to fifth in the Western Conference while the Lakers are 13th.

Elsewhere, Nikola Jokic scored the winning basket with 16 seconds remaining as the Denver Nuggets edged the New Orleans Pelicans 99-98.

Jokic, back after a two-game absence because of a hamstring injury, finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as the Nuggets secured their 10th victory in 11 matches.

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