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LeBron James moves within 100 points of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 4th all-time in assists in win over Knicks

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 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

LeBron James does it all.

The Los Angeles Lakers star moved within striking distance of the NBA’s all-time scoring title on Tuesday while passing two big leaders on the career assist chart.

James entered Tuesday with 117 points to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. He’s that much closer after a 28-point effort in a 129-123 win over the New York Knicks in overtime. He now has 38,299 points and leads Abdul-Jabbar by 89.

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James got his first triple-double of the season, adding 10 rebounds and 11 assists. It is also an important step. It is now the first NBA player to record a triple-double in its 20th season.

LeBron passes Jackson, Nash

James is also climbing the all-time assists rankings. He started Tuesday’s game with nine assists to pass Mark Jackson and Steve Nash to move into fourth all-time. He passed Jackson with his eighth flat of the night, then Nash with his ninth via a bouncing pass through traffic to set up a Thomas Bryant dunk in the fourth quarter.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Only John Stockton (15,806), Jason Kidd (12,901) and Chris Paul (11,246) have more assists than James (10,328). James is the only non-leader to break into the top 20. While scoring is in the spotlight, James’ greatness as a passer and all-around player remains on full display.

James beat Knicks guard Jalen Brunsen, who had 37 points and 6 assists while making plays in the streak to keep the Knicks in the game. But James’ Lakers held on in overtime after giving up a 6-0 Knicks run in the final 33 minutes of regulation time to send the game into overtime.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The Lakers picked up the much-needed victory as they look to move into playoff position. With the win, they improved to 24-28, two games behind the 10th-placed Utah Jazz, who would claim the final Western Conference playoff berth if the regular season ends on Tuesday.

January 31, 2023;  New York, New York, United States;  Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) controls the ball against New York Knicks guards Quentin Grimes (6) and Jalen Brunson (11) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden.  Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
LeBron James scored a triple-double against the Knicks to close in on Kareem and pass Mark Jackson and Steve Nash on the career assists list. (Brad Penner/Reuters)

LeBron James breaks goalscoring record is only a matter of time

James isn’t chasing Kareem’s record on late offshoots of his remarkable career. Far from there. His 30.2-point average over 40 games would be the third-highest scoring rate in his 20 NBA seasons.

James averaged 20.9 points per game as a rookie and hasn’t dropped below that rate since. He’s on the verge of breaking Abdul-Jabbar’s record by more than 100 fewer games than his fellow Lakers. Abdul-Jabbar reached his total of 38,387 points in 1,560 games; the Lakers game against the Knicks was the 1,407th of James’ career.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The pace allows James to pass Abdul-Jabbar against the Thunder on Feb. 7 if he doesn’t miss a game. Here’s the upcoming slate of Lakers games as James pursues one of the last major milestones of his basketball career.

Thursday: at Indiana Pacers, 7 p.m. ET

Saturday: at New Orleans Pelicans, 8 p.m. ET

February 7: vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 10:30 p.m. ET

February 9: vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 10 p.m. ET (TNT)

February 11th : at Golden State Warriors, 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)

February 13: at Portland Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. ET

February 15: vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)

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