When will LeBron break Kareem’s record?

TODAY
38,299
PTS. NEEDED
89
PROJ. GAMES
4
PROJ. DATE
2/9/23

LeBron James is on the verge of passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA's all-time leading scorer. Abdul-Jabbar has been atop the career points list since April 5, 1984, when he broke the mark previously held by Wilt Chamberlain. Now James has that record within reach.


So when will James score the 89 points he needs to surpass Abdul-Jabbar's career total of 38,387? That depends.


- If James averages 29.7 points per game over his next three games, he'll break the mark at home Feb. 7 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is averaging 30.2 PPG this season.


- If James averages 22.3 points per game over his next four games, he'll break the mark at home Feb. 9 against the Milwaukee Bucks. He is averaging 27.2 PPG for his career.


- James could even break the mark Feb. 4 on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans. He has scored at least 89 points in a two-game span five times in his career, including earlier this season (90 points on Dec. 30 and Jan. 2).


This all assumes James plays every game between now and when he breaks the record. After sitting out Monday's game against the Nets, he has missed 11 games this season.


We'll have ongoing coverage of The King's quest, including updated game-by-game projections and complete stats, throughout the season.


JAMES VS. ABDUL-JABBAR
Despite missing 11 games this season, James has already blown past Abdul-Jabbar's point total during his entire 20th and final season. James has scored 1,237 points in 41 games in 2022-23; Abdul-Jabbar scored 748 for the 1988-89 season.
JAMES
ABDUL-JABBAR
YEAR-BY-YEAR POINT TOTALS
20TH YEAR COMPARISON
“It’s just amazing to watch him. It’s his 20th season, and what he’s doing -- he’s scoring 30, 40 almost every night. He’s just incredible.”
LUKA DONCIC
Dallas Mavericks guard on LeBron James
Photo by Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
LAST GAME
OPP.
POINTS
28
RESULT (W, OT)
129-123
James finished with 28 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, becoming the fourth-oldest player with a triple-double in NBA history. He has now scored at least 20 in 33 consecutive games.
LAST 5 GAMES
OPPONENT
DATE
POINTS
“The scoring record was never, ever even thought of in my head because I’ve always been a pass-first guy.”
LeBRON JAMES
To ESPN's Dave McMenamin
AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel
NEXT GAME
OPP.
CAREER PPG
27.3
GAME HIGH
47
ADAM PANTOZZI/NBAE VIA GETTY IMAGES
How close could James get to breaking the record? He has four career 40-point games against the Pacers, including a 47-point night in 2009, but was held to 21 points when these two teams played in Los Angeles earlier this season.
TUNE IN
FEB. 2, 7 P.M. ET: LAKERS AT PACERS
(NBA LEAGUE PASS)

Edited by Adam Reisinger.

Produced by ESPN Creative Studio: Michelle Bashaw, Rob Booth, Chris DeLisle, Jessi Dodge, Heather Donahue, Jarret Gabel, Luke Knox, Rachel Weiss.

Illustrations by Iveta Karpathyova. Development by Christian Ramirez. Research by ESPN Stats & Information.