(CNN)LeBron James finished with 27 points in the Los Angeles Lakers' 131-126 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans Saturday, leaving the 38-year-old needing 36 points to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA all-time scoring record.
James struggled out of the gates but was able to finish the game strong, adding nine rebounds and six assists in the loss. Lakers forward Anthony Davis finished with a team-high 34 points and 14 rebounds.
There were a lot of cheers at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans whenever James touched the ball, but fans will have to wait a little longer for the record to be broken. It is likely that James will achieve the historic feat before a home crowd this week.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has held the points record for nearly 39 years, the Lakers great overtaking Wilt Chamberlain on April 5, 1984 -- before James was even born.
In what is supposed to be the twilight of his career, James is enjoying one of his highest-scoring seasons, averaging 30.1 points per game.
James could surpass the record of 38,387 points either on Tuesday, against the Oklahoma City Thunder, or Thursday, against the Milwaukee Bucks. Both are home ties.
Ticket prices for those games have predictably skyrocketed, with the NBA saying that any game where he has a reasonable chance of breaking the record will be broadcast nationally.
Lakers' upcoming schedule
Feb 7: Thunder at Lakers, 10pET on TNT
Feb 9: Bucks at Lakers, 10pET on TNT
Feb 11: Lakers at Warriors, 830pET on ABC