NEW ORLEANS — LeBron James headed into Saturday night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans needing 63 points to break the N.B.A. It is the highest career score. It was a It is possible to get in a large number of people a Single game especially a The 38-year old in his 20th N.B.A. season.

Yet spectators are still wearing T-shirts and purple-and gold jerseys. James’s No. 6 flooded Canal and Bourbon Streets ahead of Saturday’s game, and then they piled into the Smoothie King Center, most of them hoping to witness N.B.A. history.

Larry Unrein, a New York native who traveled to three of the Lakers’ last four games, came to New Orleans a He hopes to be happy every day, 40 years after his birthday. a Belated gift

“He could break it, dude,” Unrein spoke before the game. “He’s 38, and he’s playing like he’s 24. I turned 40 yesterday and aspire to take care of my body, drink tons of water and stretch.” Unrein skateboards when he has the time and said that James inspired him to continue skating into his old age.

An employee at the arena named Anita, who would not give her last name but said she had been working there for 10 years, was nervous that the record might be broken on the Pelicans’ home floor. “We can’t let him do it here,” She said. “It ain’t about the King tonight.”

James scoring 63 points on Saturday is something that nobody should have expected. His career record is 61 points. a game against Charlotte in 2014.) James’s career has been filled with many miraculous moments. It is no surprise that he competes at such a high level at 38 seems to be just one more — a This feat is changing the perception of what athletic peak and limits are.

James was unable to break the scoring record, ending Saturday with 27 points. He also had 9 rebounds and 6 assists. The Lakers (22-29), lost to Pelicans (27-29) 131-126. James is now 36 points away from passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who scored 38,387 points from 1969 to 1989, and tickets for the Lakers’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night have soared in anticipation that James will break the record then.

James played plays on Saturday that demonstrated why so many of his supporters believe another miracle is coming. James played more minutes than his teammates, playing 40 minutes. He played 40 minutes for the third consecutive game in which he had attained this level of play. a He stated that it was a figure. “catching up to him.”

“I’m tired as hell,” After the game, he spoke up. “But I’ll be ready to go on Tuesday.”

“I think it’s historic on a lot of different levels,” Darvin Ham, Lakers Coach earlier this season. “For him to be at this point of his career and still able to produce at the level in which he’s producing, I just think all of us, just really being able to witness it, be a part of it — it shows his competitive spirit, his no-quit mentality.”

Moment of “How is LeBron doing this at this age?” It happened in the third quarter. The Lakers led by 7 points, and Herbert Jones was advancing toward the rim. James took a charge, flying onto his back from the impact of Jones’s crashing into him. N.B.A. has many members. Players, stars included, and those who are older than the average player, tend to be reluctant to accept N.B.A. a Due to injury risk or the general wear and tear of the body, charge a Long season. Kobe Bryant’s mental toughness was evident when he was playing for the Lakers. publicly against taking charges.

Bryant’s reasoning was that great players such as Scottie Pippen and Larry Bird were injured after taking many charges throughout their careers, while others, including Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, didn’t take changes and avoided significant long-term injuries.

James took the initiative at nearly forty. a Charge for a Player listed at 6′ 7″ and 206 lbs.

With just under three minutes remaining in Saturday’s game and the Lakers losing by 4, James dived for a Ball heading out of bounds and launching himself over courtside fans. This was his second attempt in the last week. While he didn’t save the ball, it would have been easy for players his age or of similar status to not make the effort. James would not excuse himself: There he was, his blue-and-pink shoes among the fans’ faces in the crowd.

“I think it inspires them out there to do their jobs,” Ham said this season Learn more about the effects of James’s Encourage his fellow teammates to play.

James was relentless in his attack on the basket all night. He fought through fouls and made layups, and he also ran past other players to score. Multiple times younger teammates gave away layup opportunities in order to hand the ball to their older but more powerful teammate. James threw down dunks, which ignited fans.

James wasn’t perfect. James was not perfect. He settled for 3 point shots often, even an off-balance shot late in the game. This was a mistake that he seemed stupid to make. From long range, he was 1-7. Defensively, he, like his teammates, did little to stop the Pelicans’ 42-point barrage in the third quarter, which incited their win.

James missed his initial attempt at the free-throw with just 18 seconds remaining and the Lakers trailing by 6. If the game wasn’t over already, it was effectively over after that.

But Anita, the stadium worker, wasn’t buying it. James looked too perfect to pass up, thought Anita. a You can throw free. It had to be part a script: “He’s just doing that,” She said: “so he could get that record in L.A.”