LeBron James is 117 points away from surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s career scoring leader entering Monday’s road game against the Brooklyn Nets, after scoring 41 in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 125-121 overtime loss to the Boston Celtics.
It was the fifth time in his last 13 games that James has scored more than 40 points, including 46 in Tuesday’s 133-115 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at Crypto.com Arena.
James is sixth in the league in scoring, averaging 30.2 points per game. If he maintains his average and does not miss a game, he would set the record Saturday in New Orleans.
James has scored 38,271 points in 1,406 games over 20 seasons. Abdul-Jabbar scored 38,387 points in 1,560 games over 20 seasons.
James scored 26 of his points after halftime Saturday before a sellout crowd of 19,156 at TD Garden in Boston.
James missed a driving layup with seven-tenths of a second left in regulation that would have given the Lakers the lead.
Following the game, pool reporter Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe asked crew chief Eric Lewis, “It looked like there was contact on LeBron’s drive at the end of regulation. Why was there no foul call there and what did you see there?”
Lewis responded, “There was contact. At the time, during the game, we did not see a foul. The crew missed the play.”
James said, “It’s one of the best games we’ve played all year and for it … to fall on somebody else’s judgment or non-judgment is ridiculous.”
Laker forward Anthony Davis said, “We got cheated tonight, honestly. It’s a blatant foul.”
Between the end of regulation and start of overtime Laker guard Patrick Beverley was called for a technical foul.
“His actions were inappropriate in addressing resentment to a non-call,” Lewis told Himmelsbach.
Himmelsbach asked Lewis “It looked like he brought a camera out — was he trying to show you something?”
Lewis responded, “Yes, that was part of his inappropriate actions.”
The Lakers took their last lead, with 18.6 seconds remaining in regulation on Beverley’s tip dunk off Davis’ missed 3-point shot.
Beverley grabbed the rebound off Boston guard Jaylen Brown’s missed 3-point shot with 14.8 seconds to play in regulation and was fouled, missing the first free throw but making the second, to increase the Lakers’ lead to 105-102.
Brown tied the score with a put-back layup with 4.1 seconds left in regulation, was fouled by Beverley and made the free throw to complete the 3-point play.
The Lakers never led in overtime.
Jayson Tatum began the overtime by making the free throw for Beverley’s technical foul. Brown made one of two free throws after being fouled by Troy Brown Jr., giving the Celtics a 107-105 lead with 4:52 left in the overtime.
James’ layup nine seconds later tied the score for the 15th and final time.
Jaylen Brown responded with a 3-point play and 3-point basket, giving the Celtics a 113-107 lead with 4:08 remaining in overtime.
Boston led by at least three until Davis’ 3-point basket with 2.1 seconds left in overtime cut the lead to 123-121.
Tatum made two free throws with six-tenths of a second to play in overtime to seal the victory.
Davis added 16 while Beverley added 15 for the Lakers, who had six players finish in double figures.
Jaylen Brown scored 37 as the Celtics ended a three-game losing streak, improving their league-best record to 36-15.
The Lakers (23-27) dropped two games behind the Utah Jazz (26-26) in the race for the Western Conference’s final spot in the play-in tournament.