NEW YORK — The NBA has further adjusted the schedule of nationally televised games with LeBron James closing in on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the league’s scoring record.
James is on pace to break the record Tuesday at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder. That game will now be shown on TNT, a change that forced a reworking of that night’s entire schedule on the network.
TNT was supposed to show Atlanta at New Orleans, followed by Minnesota at Denver. Instead, it’ll show Phoenix at Brooklyn first, followed by the Thunder-Lakers game.
It’s a move that follows the NBA making similar adjustments earlier this week to show James and the Lakers nationally on Saturday, as he presumably moves closer to Abdul-Jabbar. That game was moved up two hours to a 6 p.m. Eastern start. The Lakers-Pelicans game was moved to ESPN2, preceding a national broadcast between Dallas and Golden State at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.
James entered Thursday needing 89 points to pass Abdul-Jabbar, who has been the league’s leading scorer since 1984.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said last month in Paris that the league would ensure James’ record-breaking game is shown nationally, as well as making it globally available.
If James doesn’t have the record after Tuesday’s game, his next game is already scheduled for national TV. The Lakers’ home game Feb. 9 against Milwaukee — the team that Abdul-Jabbar started his career with, before he joined the Lakers — will be shown on TNT.
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