NBA

LeBron achieves NBA first and closes on Kareem but 'difficult to digest accomplishments' after loss

By Sports Desk January 25, 2023

LeBron James achieved a unique NBA feat in scoring 46 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, but he was in no mood to celebrate following a defeat.

With his latest big performance, James became the first player to score 40 or more points in games against all 30 teams.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar is also now only 177 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the long-standing all-time scoring lead.

Averaging 30.2 points per game this season, James is on course to pass Abdul-Jabbar against the New Orleans Pelicans next weekend.

But a downbeat James was not particularly talkative as he was asked to reflect on his latest achievements and that big imminent milestone.

"As [the record] gets closer and closer, I think I'll start to feel it more and more, but I haven't really tried to put myself in that moment," he said.

"I've got to this place by not even thinking about it or not even being in that moment, just trying to play the game the right way.

"Even tonight, as I shot the ball, I was still trying to distribute to my guys to make sure they felt some type of rhythm. That's just always how I've played the game throughout my career.

"We'll see when we get there. We'll see. Will it hit me? Over the last couple of years since we won a championship, there's been a lot of accomplishments happening on a losing effort.

"It's been very difficult to even digest some of my own accomplishments because I don't want to celebrate on losses."

James played his part in trying to ensure he did not have to experience that losing feeling again, making nine of 14 shots from three-point range.

That set a new career benchmark for made threes, although he also tied his high for attempts from beyond the arc.

At 38, James became the oldest player to make nine threes in a game; indeed, no other player has done so aged 35 or older.

This performance came in a season in which James' three-point shooting is down at 30.7 per cent, his lowest mark since his rookie season.

"I don't really get caught up on percentages and things like that if I'm not shooting the ball well, because I put too much work in my craft," he said.

"I know it'll even out at some point. I put a lot of work into it and was able to make a few shots tonight to help us stay in the game."

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    Wolves – Matheus Cunha

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    Arsenal – Bukayo Saka

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    MATCH PREDICTION: ARSENAL WIN

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    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

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    Arsenal – 51.2%

    Draw – 27.3%

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