Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game

29 Oct

Wilt's the only person to accomplish this feat

by Darius Barnes

Wilt’s 100 point game is considered one of NBA basketball greatest games. It was a regular season game between the Philadelphia Warriors and the New York Knicks held on March 2, 1962 at Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The Warriors won the game 169–147, setting what was then a record for the most combined points in a game by both teams. Thegame is most remembered, however, for the 100 points scored by Warriors center Wilt Chamberlain. This performance ranks as the NBA’s single-game scoring record; along the way Chamberlain also broke five other NBA scoring records, of which fourstill stand.

This game was not telivised. Only live witnesses and documents of the game were given. During this season Chamberlain was having a great year putting up major numbers. He had already scored 60 or more points a record 17 times during the 1961–62 NBA season.

On December 8, 1961, in a triple overtime game versus the Los Angeles Lakers, he had set a new NBA record by scoring 78 points, eclipsing the previous mark of 71 held by the Lakers’ Elgin Baylor.

This spectacular moment in history began on a cold, rainy Friday night, with only 4,124 spectators in attendance. From the beginning, Chamberlain’s Warriors dominated against the Knicks. At the end of the first quarter, the Knicks trailed 42–26, and in his typical style, Chamberlain had already scored 23 points. By halftime, the Warriors had lost some of their edge, but still led with 79–68. After 24 minutes, Chamberlain’s point total stood at 41. However, as he scored 60 or more points on 32 previous occasions, the Warriors felt little excitement about this fact. “I often came into the locker room with 30 or 35 points, therefore, 41 points was not a big deal,” he later explained.

As the second half got underway he had surpassed the 50-point barrier and as the third qt ended he scored another 28 points to lift his Warriors to a commanding 125–104 lead. The opposing players had no answer for Chamberlain’s inside presence. They attempted to front him and when they did his team mates lobbed him the ball. They tried beating him down the floor and set up where he wanted to get and force him out, but that was no easy task being that he weighed 270 or 300 pounds.

“He literally stuffed us through the hoop with the ball. It didn’t even help we quintuple-teamed him.” Darrall Imhoff later even stated.

In the fourth quarter, 7:51 minutes were left to play when Chamberlain scored his 79th point, breaking his own record and sending the crowd into a frenzy. The 4,124 spectators screamed “Give it to Wilt! Give it to Wilt!” The Warriors suddenly sensed that they could write basketball history, and fed Chamberlain the ball at every attack.

With 2:45 left, Chamberlain had 94 points, and after scoring on a jump shot and a layup, he stood at 98 with less than a minute to play. Facing a quintuple-team by the entire Knicks team, Chamberlain trotted into the low post. At the next play, Ruklick passed to Guy Rodgers, who passed to Chamberlain close to the basket. After missing his first shot, Luckenbill rebounded and passed to Chamberlain, but he missed again. Luckenbill again rebounded and this time passed to Ruklick; instead of going for an easy layup, he immediately lobbed a high pass to Chamberlain. With 46 seconds left, Chamberlain got free from the five Knicks, jumped high and put the ball into the basket to hit the century mark. The arena exploded in a frenzy and over 200 spectators stormed the floor, wanting to touch the hero of the night.

Some accounts of the game have asserted that after Chamberlain’s 100th point, the contest was never resumed to play out the final 46 seconds remaining on the clock. At the end, the Warriors defeated the Knicks 169–147. Chamberlain made 36 of 63 field-goal attempts and 28 of 32 free-throw attempts, the latter a far better rate than his roughly 50-percent career average. Chamberlain also grabbed 25 rebounds, and he set NBA records for most field goals attempted (63) and made (36), free throws made (28) and most points in a quarter (31) and a half (59).

George Gervin and Carmelo Anthony have each surpassed the 31-point-in-a-quarter record by scoring 33 in a period, while Adrian Dantley has matched 28 free throws made in a game, but as of 2010, all the other records still stand. Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game will forever be remembered as one of the greatest in history.

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One Response to “Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game”

  1. bob November 22, 2011 at 5:11 AM #

    you help me learn about wilt the stilt

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