Lakers' Playoff Hopes Doubted by Fans After Thunder Loss as LeBron James Sets Record

Adam WellsFebruary 8, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 7: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on February 7, 2023 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

On a night that was all about celebrating LeBron James becoming the NBA's all-time scoring leader, the Los Angeles Lakers playoff hopes took a hit with a 133-130 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

James surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time scoring list with a fadeaway late in the third quarter.


38,388 POINTS<br><br>LeBron James hits the fadeaway jumper to become the NBA's all-time leading scorer! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ScoringKing?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ScoringKing</a> <a href="https://t.co/P5LyTZAZn3">pic.twitter.com/P5LyTZAZn3</a>

Mike Trudell @LakersReporter

All time regular season scoring:<br>1) LeBron: 38,388<br>2) Kareem: 38,387<br><br>All time playoff scoring:<br>1) LeBron: 7,631<br>2) Jordan: 5,987

The four-time NBA MVP finished the game with 38 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Russell Westbrook was the only other Lakers player to score at least 15 points.

Despite the historic moment for James, the Lakers are still reeling as they try to make some headway into the playoff race. They are 6-9 in 15 games since a five-game winning streak that ended on Jan. 7.

Rivanna Medlock @PtRivanna

Well at least lakers have consolation prize for missing the playoffs

Valvisuals @Valvisuals

Damn Lakers lost another game! Playoff hopes are going down the drain.

Nick Mandalakas @nick_mandalakas

Good for him and he's not done. Having said that, Lakers probably won't get into the playoffs.

scam @bullyshet

Can the Lakers still make the playoffs? SMH its been 2years of disappointment

Jason McIntyre @jasonrmcintyre

Bad bad bad loss for the Lakers.<br>Russ and Schroder can't even make clean passes? <br><br>Can't lose this one to OKC when you trail them in the standings<br><br>Playoffs? A pipe dream now

Hashim 🐺 @ItsJustHashim3

These last two games were extremely important for the Lakers playoffs hopes so ofc they lost both πŸ˜‚

James L. Edwards III @JLEdwardsIII

Can't wait for the NBA playoffs to start so we don't have to watch the Lakers anymore.

Swipa @SwipaCam

LeBron James is always great.<br><br>Anthony Davis has moments of greatness.<br><br>The 'Lakers' are not a playoff team. That's just reality.

TatumMuse @TatumMuse

The Lakers lost to the Pelicans and OKC, this team ain't making the playoffs, lmaoo. Another season of wasting LeBron's prime years.

James did allow himself to get emotional in the wake of his personal achievement. Abdul-Jabbar was at Crypto.com Arena to give him a ball in a symbolic passing of the torch.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Amazing moment between Kareem and LeBron 🀝 <a href="https://t.co/E2GvUCLy3B">pic.twitter.com/E2GvUCLy3B</a>

ESPN's Dave McMenamin noted the Lakers credentialed more than 200 media members, which is "what's seen typically for a late-round playoff game" because everyone anticipated the historic moment happening on Tuesday night.

The moment absolutely lived up to the hype, between the emotion on James' face and an electric scene in the arena when the record-breaking basket happened.

But the story for the Lakers was the same as it has been all season: James doing everything he can to help them win, but the talent around him coming up short. They are five games under .500 and sit in 13th place in the Western Conference with four games remaining before the All-Star break.