Records routinely fall in LeBron James’ wake five years into his NBA career. Wait awhile, though, before penciling him in for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record.
Records routinely fall in LeBron James’ wake five years into his NBA career.
Wait awhile, though, before penciling him in for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record.
That question came up after James broke the Cavs’ career scoring record Friday night. He entered Saturday’s game in Milwaukee with 10,414 points. A month ago, the 23-year-old became the youngest to reach 10,000 points.
But has he ever thought of passing Jabbar’s 38,387 points?
“Of course not,” James said.
James needed just 380 games to break the Cavs record. Still, to put his milestone in perspective, he is not even a third of the way to Abdul-Jabbar. If James maintained his career average of 27.4, he would need to play 1,021 more games — that’s 12-plus seasons — to reach that mark. That would put him at age 35.
“I don’t look at being the all-time leader of the NBA (in scoring),” James said. “I just kind of let the accolades come to me. I go out on the basketball court and try to win every game, and we continue to get better, so that’s the good thing.”
More on James
James is more than halfway to cracking the league’s list of top 30 all-time scorers. Former guard Mitch Richmond sits 30th with 20,497 points.
James’ career average of 27.4 ties him with Elgin Baylor for fourth in that category. Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain lead that list at 30.1 apiece. Allen Iverson is next at 27.8.
Only three of the all-time 30 top scorers failed to average at least 20 points per game during their career — Reggie Miller (13th, 25,279, 18.2), Robert Parish (17th, 23,334, 14.5), Gary Payton (22nd, 21,813, 16.3) and Hal Greer (24th, 21,586, 19.2).
Sorting out the West
After a look at schedules for the top seven contenders, the Lakers look to have the most favorable final four weeks.
The Lakers play 10 of their last 13 games at the Staples Center. They have a home-and-home with the Warriors tonight and Monday before the month ends with three straight winnable home games — Charlotte, Memphis and Washington. The only Western elite they see in April are the Mavericks, Hornets and Spurs, and all three are at home.
The Hornets’ remaining schedule starts with a six-game trip East, including games against the Cavs (Wednesday), Celtics (Friday) and Magic (April 1). The Western contenders they see down the stretch are the Warriors, Jazz, Lakers and Mavericks.
Outside of a game next Sunday at San Antonio, the Rockets play none of Western elite during their next eight games. Things get tougher with Phoenix, Denver and Utah down the stretch.
The Suns head East to play four straight, starting with Detroit on Monday and Boston two nights later. Eight of their final 13 games are on the road, including April trips to Denver, San Antonio and Houston
The Spurs play six of the West’s top eight in the final four weeks (Jazz twice, Mavericks, Rockets, Warriors, Suns, Lakers). They also visit Orlando on Tuesday.
The Mavericks have the Warriors twice, Spurs, Nuggets, Lakers, Suns, Jazz and Hornets.
The Jazz need to make a move during the next two weeks, when they play the Timberwolves twice, Bobcats, Clippers and Wizards. Their final six are against the Spurs, Hornets, Mavericks, Nuggets, Rockets and Spurs again.
Boston became the first team since Sacramento in 2001 to win at San Antonio, Houston and Dallas in consecutive games. The Celtics had not done it since the Bird-McHale-Parish days of the 1986-87 season.
“Coming into these three games, this was the ultimate test for us,” All-Star Paul Pierce said in the Boston Globe. “It gives us momentum going into the playoffs. What better way to do it than this?”
The Celtics rallied from 22 down to beat the Spurs and snapped the Rockets’ 22-game winning streak the next night.
- The Suns look to be quietly figuring out things with Shaquille O’Neal at center. They entered Saturday’s game with Houston having won six straight, beating the Spurs and Warriors during the stretch.
- The Mavericks are 0-7 against teams with winning records since getting Jason Kidd. They know the pressure is on to produce in the playoffs. “Until we ultimately hold (a trophy) up, there’s always going to be questions about us,” guard Jerry Stackhouse said to the Dallas Morning News. “We got some work to do to be in the field. ... We got a talented team, but at some point, we got to take a stand in the sand.”
- The Lakers snapped Utah’s 19-game home winning streak Thursday. They did it minus Pau Gasol. The continued development of Jordan Farmar at guard has been huge for them. So has the energy up front provided by Ronny Turiaf. And getting a combined 34 points from Vladimir Radmanovic in back-to-back wins over the Jazz and Mavericks is always a nice bonus.
Reach Repository sports writer Chris Beaven at (330) 580-8345 or e-mail: email@example.com