Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James enters Saturday evening’s road game against the Boston Celtics needing 158 points to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and become the NBA’s career scoring leader.
James is listed as questionable due to left ankle soreness. He has played eight consecutive games since missing the Jan. 9 game against the Denver Nuggets because of left ankle soreness.
James scored 20 points — matching his third-lowest total of the season — in Wednesday’s 113-104 victory over the San Antonio Spurs at Crypto.com Arena. The game was the first for Lakers’ forward Anthony Davis after he missed 20 games due to a right foot stress injury.
Davis scored a team-high 21 points in 26 minutes, 12 seconds off the bench.
James has scored 38,230 points in 1,405 games over 20 seasons. Abdul-Jabbar scored 38,387 points in 1,560 games over 20 seasons.
James is seventh in the league in scoring, averaging 29.9 points per game. If he maintains his average and does not miss a game, he would set the record Feb. 7 in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Crypto.com Arena.
James scored 33 points in a 122-118 overtime loss to the Celtics on Dec. 13 at Crypto.com Arena in the teams’ only other meeting this season. The Lakers trailed by 20 points with six minutes, 43 seconds left in the third quarter before rallying to force overtime.
James missed a 27-foot, 3-point shot with four-tenths of a second remaining in regulation that would have given the Lakers a victory.
The Lakers (23-26) are 13th in the 15-team Western Conference, one game behind the Utah Jazz in the race for the conference’s final spot in the play-in tournament.
The Celtics have the NBA’s best record, 33-15, despite a three-game losing streak.
The game will be televised by ABC beginning at 5:30 p.m.