Will LeBron James break the scoring record tonight?

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers. Herb Jones, New Orleans Pelicans (Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers. Herb Jones, New Orleans Pelicans (Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports) /

If you weren’t aware (you likely live under a rock), LeBron James is going to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. And he’s going to dethrone him very, very soon.

As it stands, The King is only 63 points away from surpassing Adbul-Jabbar. And with his Los Angeles Lakers set to square off against our Pelicans on a nationally televised stage tonight, we felt it wise to try and project the likelihood of James breaking the record in New Orleans.


Basic math suggests that James will probably not break Abdul-Jabbar’s record against the Pelicans. He’s averaging 30.1 PPG on the season, which suggests that he’ll likely take the crown at the beginning of his February 9th clash against the Milwaukee Bucks.

With that said, James is prone to voluminous scoring outbursts. In fact, for his career, he has had 74 games where he’s scored 40 points or more. And he’s posted at least one forty burger against all 30 NBA teams.

Okay, so how many 60-point outings has The King authored? Interestingly enough, only one.

On March 3, 2014, James – a then member of the Miami Heat – dropped 61 points against the Charlotte Hornets (who, at the time, were known as the Bobcats).

Outside of that eruption, James has never eclipsed the 60-point mark in any of the 1,754 games he’s appeared in throughout his career (that includes the playoffs). That gives him a roughly 0.05% chance of accomplishing that feat tonight in New Orleans.

However, considering the fact that James is averaging 30+ PPG at the advanced age of 38, basic math clearly holds no bearing in this man’s eyes. Since the moment he stepped into the league, defying the odds has been his calling card.

After all, this is the same guy who came out of high school as the most-hyped prospect in NBA history and somehow managed to surpass even the loftiest of expectations. The same guy who faced a 3-1 series deficit against the greatest regular season team ever assembled and still managed to come out on top as a world champion. The same guy that publicly admitted to chasing His Airness for the title of greatest who ever lived and proceeded to do everything he could to (maybe?) take that moniker from him.

For 20 years, James has proven probability wrong. Let’s see if he can do it again tonight.

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