NBA. LeBron James drops 46 points in vain as Clippers crush Lakers


LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers takes a shot against Norman Powell #40 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half at Crypto.com Arena on January 24, 2023 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.

LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers takes a shot against Norman Powell #40 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half at Crypto.com Arena on January 24, 2023 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP

LeBron James took another step toward the NBA’s all-time scoring record with a dazzling 46 points, but couldn’t stop the Los Angeles Lakers from falling to a 133-115 loss against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old basketball icon rolled back the years with a series of virtuoso performances last time out, draining a career-best nine three-pointers in what was ultimately a futile effort against the Paul George and Kawhi Leonard-led Clippers.

LeBron left the court shortly after the Clippers completed a wire-to-wire victory that gave them a 23-point halftime lead.

James threatened to spark a fourth-quarter comeback to pull the Lakers within 10 points, but the Clippers regrouped around George and Leonard and pulled away.

James’ only consolation was that he was now within striking distance Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.

James needs 178 more points to eclipse Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 points, one of the most coveted and long-standing records in basketball.

On current form, James is on pace to break the record in the next two weeks.

“Lakers” coach Darwin Hamm admitted that his team did not give LeBron the support that his hot form deserved.

“I’m happy for him, but we have to get better,” Hamm said. “We have to give some help in other areas.

“He is playing at an incredible level now. it’s amazing when you can watch. But having said that, we want to win games. So everyone can do a little bit better, including me and my staff.”

The Lakers fell to 22-26 and are 13th in the Western Conference standings, while the Clippers improved to 26-24 to move into fifth.

Russell Westbrook scored 17 points Lakerswho played a day after signing a striker Rui Hachimura in trade With the Washington Wizards. Hachimura was present but was not activated Tuesday. He is expected to make his own Lakers debuts Wednesday against the host San Antonio Spurs.

Thomas Bryant scored 15 points Lakerswho could also have star forward Anthony Davis on Wednesday after he missed 20 games with a foot injury.

George led the Clippers with 27 points, Leonard with 25, and Norman Powell with 22 points.

Norman Powell scores 22 points as Clippers win 10th straight Lakers returning for the opening game of the 2020-21 season.

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