The Los Angeles Lakers at New Orleans Pelicans game on Saturday, Feb. 4, will now begin at 3 p.m. PT, the NBA announced. It was previously scheduled for 5 p.m. PT but was moved up so it can be televised on ESPN2 in addition to Spectrum SportsNet.
This game is a big one for a variety of reasons with the main one being that it’s the first time LeBron James could potentially break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record.
James currently needs 89 points to set the record, so if he has a big scoring effort on Thursday against the Indiana Pacers then it’s possible that he is within striking distance going into the New Orleans game.
It’s more likely that James breaks the record when the Lakers return home, but considering he already has five 40-plus point efforts since turning 38, you never know what he is capable of.
The game is also big due to the growing rivalry between the Lakers and Pelicans since the Anthony Davis trade back in 2019. The Pelicans have the right to swap first-round picks with the Lakers this summer if theirs is worse, so this game essentially counts for double since it’s head-to-head.
In a crowded Western Conference, the Lakers and Pelicans are two teams fighting for a playoff spot. The Lakers remain in 13th in the West at 24-28 although they have been trending up in recent weeks. Meanwhile, after a strong start to the season, the Pelicans have lost nine straight to drop to 10th in the conference at 26-26.
Injuries to Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson have played a big role in that although the former is now back playing. Even without Williamson, there is a ton of intrigue in this game so it makes sense that ESPN2 would want to pick it up on a Saturday afternoon.
James proud to move up into fourth on all-time assist list
While James is on the verge of breaking the scoring record, he made more history during the Lakers’ win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night when he passed both Mark Jackson and Steve Nash for fourth on the NBA’s all-time assist list.
As a pass-first player, LeBron was especially proud of this accomplishment although he also credited his teammates since they need to make shots for him to get assists.
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