LeBron James closes in on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on all-time scoring list

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LeBron James inched his way closer to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Saturday night.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar moved into second place on the NBA’s all-time regular-season scoring list, passing Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone. James, who has the most points in NBA history when combining regular season and playoff numbers, has 36,947 points in the regular season.

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The Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (6) and Washington Wizards' Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) reach for the ball during the second half of a game, Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Washington.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (6) and Washington Wizards’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) reach for the ball during the second half of a game, Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

He is only 1,440 points shy of tying Abdul-Jabbar, who finished his illustrious NBA career with 38,387 points between the Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks.

James, 37, finished Saturday’s game with 38 points, but Los Angeles was unable to pick up the win against the Washington Wizards. The Wizards won 127-119. 

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The Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (6) shoots as Washington Wizards' Rui Hachimura (8) defends during the first half Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Washington.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (6) shoots as Washington Wizards’ Rui Hachimura (8) defends during the first half Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

“Obviously at some point I’ll be able to look back at this moment, but right now the feeling I have — I can’t separate it,” James told reporters after the game. “We had a great opportunity to pick up some more momentum.”

James made clear he was still focused on trying to guide the Lakers back to the postseason.

“I will not allow myself to think about it. I’ve always just played the game the way I’ve been playing it over the years, and these things have just happened organically by just going out and playing the game the right way. Hope to accomplish that at some point in my career, but I won’t think about it too much,” he added.

The Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (6) shoots as the Washington Wizards' Rui Hachimura (8) defends during the second half Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Washington.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (6) shoots as the Washington Wizards’ Rui Hachimura (8) defends during the second half Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

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The Lakers are in 9th place in the Western Conference with a 30-41 record. The San Antonio Spurs are only three games behind them for that spot.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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