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The Five: Everything to know for Week 7

The LeBron James milestone watch continues, and must-see games on National TV and NBA League Pass.

LeBron James led the Lakers to two straight wins in his return to the court.

Every Monday we will tell you what you need to know heading into a new week of NBA action.

1. LeBron Watch resumes

After missing five games over two weeks with a strained left adductor, LeBron James returned to the court on Friday night and helped the Lakers secure their first road win of the season with a 105-94 victory in San Antonio.

James had 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals on Friday and followed it up with 39 points, 11 rebounds and three assists on Saturday as the Lakers swept the two-game set with the Spurs.

With James back on the court, the LeBron Watch resumes as he continues to inch toward overtaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Entering Week 7, LeBron needs 1,017 points to pass Kareem, which would take 40 games based on his season-scoring average of 25.8 points.

While the scoring title remains months away, there is another significant all-time list that LeBron is set to climb. He needs just 20 assists to pass Lakers legend Magic Johnson (10,141) for sixth place on the all-time assist list. Based on his current assist average of 6.4 assists, LeBron would need three or four games to pass Magic.

And the Lakers have four games on their schedule this week: Monday vs. Indiana (NBA League Pass), Wednesday vs. Portland (NBA TV), Friday at Milwaukee (ESPN), and Sunday at Washington (NBA League Pass).

There are a few other notable milestones within LeBron’s grasp this week. With his 39-point effort on Saturday, LeBron now needs three 30+ point games to pass Wilt Chamberlain (515) for the second-most all-time. Only Michael Jordan (562) has more 30+ point games in NBA history.

If the Lakers are able to win two of their four games this week, LeBron would also become just the seventh player in league history to reach 900 career wins in the regular season. He will join Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Robert Parish, Tim Duncan, John Stockton, Karl Malone and Dirk Nowitzki.

If Kevin Durant’s scoring average holds up, he could make his way up to 10th on the all-time scoring list this season.

2. More milestones to watch

LeBron isn’t the only player entering Week 7 looking to make a move up the all-time leaderboards. Klay Thompson enters the week tied with Joe Johnson for 15th place in career 3-pointers made (1,978). He needs five 3s to pass Dirk Nowitzki for 14th place and 11 to pass Jason Kidd for 13th place. Can Klay have a hot shooting night Tuesday in Dallas (7:30 ET, TNT) and pass the Mavericks legend (Dirk) and the current Mavericks’ coach (Kidd) on the same night?

There have been 31 instances (regular season or playoffs) in which a player has made at least 11 3-pointers. Thompson has three of those games, including the all-time record of 14 triples in a single game set on Oct. 29, 2018 at Chicago.

There are only two other players with multiple 11+ 3-pointer games: Damian Lillard (tied with Klay with three) and Stephen Curry (12). Klay set his season high with 10 3-pointers in a win at Houston last weekend (Nov. 20). Could he do it again against another team from Texas?

This past week, Kevin Durant passed Kevin Garnett for 18th on the all-time scoring list, despite being held to a season-low 12 points in Brooklyn’s win in Toronto. The next target in his sights is John Havlicek. Durant needs 255 points to pass Havlicek, which would take nine games based on his current scoring average (29.3 ppg). Durant is poised to make a major run up the scoring ladder this season, as he is on pace to reach No. 10, topping Moses Malone in 2023.

Here is the list of Hall of Famers Durant would pass on his way to the top 10 along with the number of points and projected games needed to pass them: Havlicek (255 points, 9 games), Paul Pierce (257, 9), Tim Duncan (356, 13), Dominique Wilkins (528, 18), Oscar Robertson (570, 20), Hakeem Olajuwon (806, 28), Elvin Hayes (1,173, 40) and Malone (1,269, 44).

3. National TV spotlight: 3 must-see matchups

Tuesday: Golden State at Dallas, 7:30 p.m. ET, TNT

The top two scorers in the league – Dallas’ Luka Doncic (33.1 ppg) and Golden State’s Stephen Curry (31.4 ppg) – meet for the first time this season as the Mavericks (8-3 at home) host the Warriors (2-9 on the road). The Warriors have bounced back from their slow start (3-7 overall, lost first eight road games) and enter Tuesday’s games having won three straight and five of their last six games. Meanwhile, the Mavs enter the matchup looking to snap a four-game losing streak as they return home after an 0-3 East coast swing.

Wednesday: Miami at Boston, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV

This is a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference finals, which the Celtics won in seven games, but could have gone the other way had Jimmy Butler’s go-ahead 3-pointer gone in with 16 seconds to play in Game 7. The teams met on Oct. 21 – the second game of the season for both teams – with Boston prevailing 111-104 behind a combined 57 points from Jayson Tatum (29) and Jaylen Brown (29). Butler, who has been out since Nov. 16 with a knee injury, is expected to return for this marquee matchup.

Friday: Los Angeles at Milwaukee, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Between LeBron James (four), Giannis Antetokounmpo (two) and Russell Westbrook (one), the winners of half of the last 14 Kia Most Valuable Player awards will be on the court when the Lakers meet the Bucks for the first time this season. This will be the 23rd head-to-head meeting between LeBron and Giannis; LeBron holds a 16-6 edge in wins and has averaged 28 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.2 assists, compared to Gianni’s 23.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists.

4. League Pass games to watch

Monday: Oklahoma City at New Orleans, 8 p.m. ET

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander enters Monday’s game at New Orleans having scored at least 30 points in four straight games – tied with Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid for the longest active streak in the league – and seven of his last eight games. He also enters Week 7 with the most total points scored in the league this season at 590.

He ranks third in scoring average behind the aforementioned Doncic and Curry with a career-best 31.1 points per game. Gilgeous-Alexander has been a 23+ point scorer in each of the last two seasons, but is taking a leap in his fifth NBA season and has become a must-watch on League Pass. Another player that is must watch anytime he steps on the court is New Orleans’ Zion Williamson, who will be in action for the Pelicans. However, New Orleans will be without CJ McCollum (health and safety protocols) and likely without Brandon Ingram (doubtful, toe)

Wednesday: Indiana at Sacramento, 10 p.m. ET

In last week’s edition of The Five, we focused on Ben Simmons’ returning to Philadelphia for the first time since last season’s trade to Brooklyn, and highlighted a few other notable return games on the upcoming schedule. One of those takes place Wednesday as Tyrese Haliburton returns to Sacramento for the first time since last season’s deadline deal that sent Haliburton to the Pacers for Domantas Sabonis in a trade that left many (particularly Haliburton) shocked. Expect Haliburton to get a warm welcome from the Sacramento crowd as he was a fan favorite for his season and a half with the Kings.

Sunday: Cleveland at New York, 6 p.m. ET

This is a ‘what could have been?’ game for New York fans as Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers visit Madison Square Garden for the first time this season. It was widely speculated that Mitchell would be traded to New York after the Jazz made the decision to part ways with the three-time All-Star. However, Cleveland swooped in and made an offer that Utah could not refuse, pairing Mitchell with fellow All-Star guard Darius Garland in the backcourt. The Cavs and Knicks met on Oct. 30 in Cleveland and Mitchell shined with 38 points and career-best 12 assists in a 121-108 win. What will he do for an encore in New York City?

Magic Johnson finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 20 assists in a 109-104 win over the 76ers back in 1988.

5. This Day in History / NBA Trivia

On this day 34 years ago — Nov. 28, 1988 — Lakers guard Magic Johnson finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 20 assists in a 109-104 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

There have been only three other such games with 30+ points, 20+ assists and 10+ rebounds in NBA history. Name the three players to post them. Hint: two are active players.







Luka Doncic: May 1, 2021 (Dallas vs. Washington): 31 points, 20 assists, 12 rebounds in 125-124 win

Russell Westbrook: March 29, 2021 (Washington vs. Indiana): 35 points, 21 assists, 14 rebounds in 132-124 win

Oscar Robertson: Dec. 11, 1961 (Cincinnati vs. Chicago): 32 points, 20 assists, 15 rebounds in 133-117 win