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James is on course to break Abdul-Jabbar's 38,387 points in the coming weeks. Image Credit: AFP

LeBron James became only the second player in NBA history to score 38,000 career points on Sunday as he inches closer to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time record.

James, playing in his 20th NBA season, needed 11 points to reach 38,000 points and hit a mid-range jumper in the first quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers' home game against the Philadelphia 76ers to move past the milestone.

James eventually finished with 35 points but it was a bittersweet night as the Lakers lost 113-112.

The 38-year-old forward, who started his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers and also played for the Miami Heat, has averaged 29 points per game this season.

A four-times champion and four-times MVP, James is on course to break former Lakers center Abdul-Jabbar's 34-year-old record of 38,387 points in the coming weeks.

When James turned 38 last month, Abdul-Jabbar had wished him happy birthday with the message: "38 is the new 38,388." James is now 363 points behind Abdul-Jabbar and based on his scoring average, NBA statisticians expect him to break the record before the All-Star break next month. (Reporting by Rohith Nair in

Chasing Kareem: Tracking LeBron James' pursuit of NBA record
A look at LeBron James’ pursuit of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the NBA’s scoring record. Abdul-Jabbar has held the record since April 5, 1984:
Abdul-Jabbar points: 38,387.
James points: 38,024.
Difference: 363 points.
James’ latest game: He scored 35 points Sunday in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 113-112 loss to Philadelphia.
James’ scoring average this season: 29.2.
Potential record-breaker: At his current rate of 29.2 points per game, with 364 points needed to pass Abdul-Jabbar, it would take James 13 more games to become the NBA’s scoring leader. Assuming he does not miss any games, that makes the potential record-breaking game Feb. 9 at home against Milwaukee.
Next Lakers game: Monday at home against Houston.